FERGUS FALLS – Bemidji closed its regular season on a high note as it demolished Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 7-2 Saturday afternoon.
The win gave the Lumberjacks a three-game winning streak heading into the Section 8A tournament which begins Thursday. BHS (10-6) is expected to receive the No. 2 seed as determined by a vote of coaches and, if that happens, the Jacks will be home for Thursday’s contest.
Prior to Saturday’s victory Bemidji trailed only East Grand Forks in the QRF sub-section standings. The Green Wave had 39.5 QRF points while the Jacks had 39.1. Detroit Lakes was third with 30.2.
Trailing the leaders were Fergus Falls (21.1), Hillcrest (17.0), Walker-Hackensack-Akeley (14.6) and Crookston (10.6).
After a mid-season slump which saw the Lumberjacks lose four of five games, the team appears to be playing some of its best soccer when it counts the most.
“I think we are peaking at the right time,” said BHS coach Kelly Schoonover. “We have stressed maintaining possession and that is something we are doing very well now. We’re also getting healthy.”
In Saturday’s contest the Lumberjacks jumped to a 3-0 lead and Hillcrest eventually wilted.
Maea Wall opened the scoring 12 minutes in when she converted Anna Erickson’s assist.
Less than five minutes later Erin Booth scored with help from Rachel Holm and Wall upped the advantage to 3-0 at the 29-minute mark when she found the net courtesy of Mackenzie Hietala’s feed.
The home team struck 28 minutes in but Bemidji answered eight minutes later when Jillian Ritchie scored on a corner kick.
The Lumberjacks erased any doubt of the outcome with three goals in the second half.
Josie Spry connected at 47 minutes and Booth completed her hat trick with goals at 54 minutes and 66 minutes.
Holm assisted on Spry’s tally and Booth’s second goal.
Cassidy Morris needed only four saves to earn the goaltending victory.
“You never know what will happen in the playoffs but we’re thinking positively,” Schoonover said. “After making it to the state meet last year the girls have a taste of success and they are eager to begin another playoff run.”
Bemidji 4 3 - 7
Hillcrest 1 1 - 2
B-Wall (Erickson). 12:00
B-Booth (Holm). 17:00
B-Wall (Hietala). 26:00
H-Bjorvatn (Brandon). 28:00
B-Ricci (unassisted). 36:00
B-Spry (Holm). 47:00
B-Booth (unassisted). 54:00
B-Booth (Holm). 66:00
H-Konynenbeit (unassisted). 79:00
Morris (B) 2 2 - 4
Royce (H) 2 9 - 11