BEMIDJI – The Bemidji girls soccer team opened the 2012 campaign in grand style Friday, as the Lumberjacks demolished Little Falls 5-0 at the middle school field.
BHS dominated the Flyers in every phase of the game and the performance was exactly what coach Kelly Schoonover was hoping to see.
“We have some younger players this year and we were trying some new things, especially defensively,” Schoonover said. “It was the perfect game to open the year with because we were able to build confidence while trying out new formations without a ton of defensive pressure.”
Bemidji wasted no time taking control. During the first six minutes the Lumberjacks pressured the Little Falls defense, but were thwarted on two occasions because of an unlucky bounce off a defender and a clank off the crossbar.
But nine minutes into the action Bemidji’s constant pressure paid dividends when Josie Spry took a pass along the left side, sliced through a pair of defenders, faked another out of her shoes and connected from 15 yards out with a spin shot.
Midway through the first half Maea Wall upped the cushion to 2-0 when she crashed the crease and tipped home Rachel Bitter’s perfect centering pass. Bitter began the play by outracing a pair of Little Falls defenders for possession and claiming enough open space to send the pass onto Wall’s foot.
With 4:36 remaining in the half Bemidji notched the back-breaker when Jillian Ritchie camped in the slot and zipped home Rachael Gray’s perfect centering pass.
The second stanza was equally one-sided and featured goals by Erin Booth and Wall. Booth notched her tally midway through the stanza when she powered through a series of defenders and eventually found the net from 15 yards out.
Wall’s second goal of the game came with 16:19 to play and was set up by Ricci’s feed.
Flyer goalie Scotti Jo Meyer was credited with 16 saves while Bemidji goalkeeper Casey Palmer had a very quiet afternoon, making only one save.
“All in all, the girls played hard and were focused,” Schoonover said. “This was a good starting point for us. I think we’re in position to be successful this year. We feel confident because we know that we have solid and talented athletes.”
Bemidji’s next test will come today when the Jacks head to Walker for a 1 p.m. start against the Wolves.
Little Falls 0 0 - 0
Bemidji 3 2 - 5
B-Spry (unassisted), 8:57
B-Wall (Bitter), 19:59
B-Ricci (Gray), 35:24
B-Both (Spry), 59:50
B-Wall (Ricci), 64:41
Meyer (LF)8 8 - 16
Palmer (B)1 0 - 1