Armstrong came into the 2020 season with a young team looking to put some things together following a one-win season in 2019.
And it didn’t take long for the Falcons (1-1 overall) to show they can compete and put more wins on the board this year.
It took until the 12th game of the season for Armstrong to get a win last year, and they ended up finishing 1-3-2 overall with a near upset over Cretin-Derham Hall in the playoffs.
All it took was one game for the Falcons to earn a win this season, as they shut out Coon Rapids 2-0 on Aug. 31. Armstrong fell 3-1 to Totino-Grace in the home opener Sept 2., but the Falcons played the Eagles tough all game and were tied 1-1 until the 48th minute.
A couple of chaotic plays in the box led to two goals by the Eagles, but Armstrong showed it should be able to improve greatly on last season’s record, even in a strange, shortened season affected by COVID-19 precautions.
Armstrong 2, Coon Rapids 0
The Falcons didn’t take long to equal last year’s win total with a 2-0 win over Coon Rapids to open the season.
Armstrong scored twice in the first half, and junior goalie Sydney Smith did the rest by collecting 11 saves to hold on to the shutout.
Senior defenseman/midfielder Jenna Bloom and sophomore midfielder Ella Picka both scored goals, and sophomore defenseman/midfielder Maddie Orstad added an assist.
Totino-Grace 3, Armstrong 1
There were plenty of smiles during a 3-1 loss Sept. 2 to Totino-Grace.
One, it was senior night. Two, senior forward Libby Plath scored on senior night, which at the time tied the game at 1-1. And three, the Falcons played well against an Eagles team that had 18 more points than Armstrong in 2019.
Smith, who had 13 saves, held her ground in the net early in the first half. She stopped a couple of easy shots and later made a save by coming out of the net to challenge a shot.
Totino-Grace scored in the 32nd minute on a wild play to go up 1-0.
Eagles’ junior defenseman Kaitlyn Brandt sprinted to the box after senior midfielder Lydia Bierurance was able to squib the ball from the left side on a contested play.
Brandt was able to just get a toe on the ball as Smith came diving out to make a save, and the ball went under Smith and just got through her to roll into the net.
Smith later made a save with her legs on a shot to keep the deficit 1-0 at halftime.
Smith was able to win a challenge in the second half on a shot by sophomore midfielder Emilie Ling, and Plath later rewarded her with an equalizer on the other side.
Sophomore midfielder/forward Kendall Thurston came around the right side and knocked the ball in the middle where Plath was able to get to the ball and blast a shot past senior goalie Emma Lamen for a 1-1 tie in the 44th minute.
Smith later made a save on a shot in the 48th minute, but she couldn’t secure the rebound and sophomore midfielder Kayla Terhaar knocked in a goal to make it 2-1.
Brandt scored her second goal of the game after some chaos around the penalty box left Smith out of position. That made it 3-1 in the 52nd minute.
Smith made three more saves before the end of the game, but the Eagles were able to mostly keep the Falcons in the middle to run out the clock.