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Bemidji's Kiah Hartung takes the ball away from Hillcrest Lutheran Academy's Rita Haugsvaer during the first half of Monday's game. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Bemidji breaks 1-1 tie with seven straight goals on way to 8-1 win

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Bemidji breaks 1-1 tie with seven straight goals on way to 8-1 win
Bemidji Minnesota P.O. Box 455 56619

Midway through Monday's home game against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy the Bemidji girls soccer team was tied 1-1 and the coaches and players thought it was time to assess the situation.

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"We established some team and individual goals at halftime," said BHS coach Kelly Schoonover. "And among the goals was to outscore them at least 2-0 in the second half."

The determined Lumberjacks made short work of that resolution as goals by Josie Spry, Jillian Ricci and Caitlin Blotske within the first nine minutes gave BHS a 4-1 lead. The trend continued the rest of the way and when the dust settled Bemidji had an 8-1 victory.

"We started the game slow and sluggish but we were a totally different team in the second half," Schoonover said.

"We knew we should do well against Hillcrest (which fell to 2-6) and in the second half we worked hard to achieve our goals. And, as a team, we exceeded our expectations."

Josie Spry gave the Jacks a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the action but 30 seconds later HLA's Rita Haugsvaer answered.

The 1-1 deadlock continued through the rest of the half but in the second stanza Bemidji was the clear aggressor.

Spry began the second-half onslaught at the 47-minute mark when she picked the pocket of a Comet defender and scored with a high bending shot over HLA goalie Kathryn Senum and under the crossbar.

Senum was blinded by the setting sun and probably didn't see the ball until it was already past her.

"We use the field conditions to our benefit whenever we can," Schoonover said. "At this time of the year the sun is right in the eyes of the goalie (guarding the east goal) in the second half and when we win the coin toss we choose to attack in that direction in the second half."

The decision continued to pay dividends as Jillian Ricci collected her first varsity goal eight minutes into the half and 25 seconds later Blotske upped the lead to 4-1.

Erin Booth continued the barrage with a goal at the 52-minute mark and in the final 24 minutes Ricci and Booth would collect their second goals of the day and Kelsey Merck would tally the final goal.

Casey Palmer finished with 10 saves.

Bemidji (6-3) will not be able to afford a slow start Thursday when East Grand Forks comes to town. Earlier this fall EGF belted the Lumberjacks 9-2.

"We're looking forward to the rematch," Schoonover said. "We believe we are a very good team and are playing better now than when we faced East Grand earlier in the year. I'm interested to see how things play out in this game."

Bemidji 8, HLA 1

HLA 1 0 - 1

Bemidji 1 7 - 8

First Half

B-Spry (Booth) 10:00

HLA-Haugsvaer (unassisted) 10:30

Second Half

B-Spry (unassisted) 47:00

B-Ricci (unassisted) 48:00

B-Blotske (unassisted) 48:25

B-Booth (Blotske, Ricci) 52:00

B-Ricci (unassisted) 56:00

B-Booth (unassisted) 65:00

B-Merck (unassisted) 77:00

Saves

Senum (HLA) 7 3 - 10

Palmer (B) 6 4 - 10

Y pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

Midway through Monday's home game against Hillcrest Lutheran Academy the Bemidji girls soccer team was tied 1-1 and the coaches and players thought it was time to assess the situation.

"We established some team and individual goals at halftime," said BHS coach Kelly Schoonover. "And among the goals was to outscore them at least 2-0 in the second half."

The determined Lumberjacks made short work of that resolution as goals by Josie Spry, Jillian Ricci and Caitlin Blotske within the first nine minutes gave BHS a 4-1 lead. The trend continued the rest of the way and when the dust settled Bemidji had an 8-1 victory.

"We started the game slow and sluggish but we were a totally different team in the second half," Schoonover said.

"We knew we should do well against Hillcrest (which fell to 2-6) and in the second half we worked hard to achieve our goals. And, as a team, we exceeded our expectations."

Josie Spry gave the Jacks a 1-0 lead 10 minutes into the action but 30 seconds later HLA's Rita Haugsvaer answered.

The 1-1 deadlock continued through the rest of the half but in the second stanza Bemidji was the clear aggressor.

Spry began the second-half onslaught at the 47-minute mark when she picked the pocket of a Comet defender and scored with a high bending shot over HLA goalie Kathryn Senum and under the crossbar.

Senum was blinded by the setting sun and probably didn't see the ball until it was already past her.

"We use the field conditions to our benefit whenever we can," Schoonover said. "At this time of the year the sun is right in the eyes of the goalie (guarding the east goal) in the second half and when we win the coin toss we choose to attack in that direction in the second half."

The decision continued to pay dividends as Jillian Ricci collected her first varsity goal eight minutes into the half and 25 seconds later Blotske upped the lead to 4-1.

Erin Booth continued the barrage with a goal at the 52-minute mark and in the final 24 minutes Ricci and Booth would collect their second goals of the day and Kelsey Merck would tally the final goal.

Casey Palmer finished with 10 saves.

Bemidji (6-3) will not be able to afford a slow start Thursday when East Grand Forks comes to town. Earlier this fall EGF belted the Lumberjacks 9-2.

"We're looking forward to the rematch," Schoonover said. "We believe we are a very good team and are playing better now than when we faced East Grand earlier in the year. I'm interested to see how things play out in this game."

Bemidji 8, HLA 1

HLA 1 0 - 1

Bemidji 1 7 - 8

First Half

B-Spry (Booth) 10:00

HLA-Haugsvaer (unassisted) 10:30

Second Half

B-Spry (unassisted) 47:00

B-Ricci (unassisted) 48:00

B-Blotske (unassisted) 48:25

B-Booth (Blotske, Ricci) 52:00

B-Ricci (unassisted) 56:00

B-Booth (unassisted) 65:00

B-Merck (unassisted) 77:00

Saves

Senum (HLA) 7 3 - 10

Palmer (B) 6 4 - 10

pmiller@bemidjipioneer.com

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Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

(218) 333-9200
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