Bemidji HS boys soccer: Jacks beat Crookston, move into conference lead
The Bemidji High boys soccer team proved to be the better madders Thursday, out sloshing Crookston 4-2 at the Middle School field.
The win lifted the Jacks back into first place in the Lakes to Prairie Conference at 6-1-1 with 15 points. Detroit Lakes is 6-0-2 for 14. The Jacks have only one league game remaining.
Overall Bemidji reaches 8-4-1 with four games to play. They need one more win to secure a winning season.
Crookston is now 5-7-3 and 3-4-2 in the conference.
Thursday's game had many features.
Rylee Curb scored a hat trick to reach 18 goals on the year.
That established a personal high and tied him with Eric Scotland (1996) for the school single season record.
He also raised his career scoring total to 61, already a school record.
The game was played in a steady rain with a strong southeast wind making playing conditions miserable for both teams.
But Bemidji defied the elements, turning in one of its strongest games, especially coming after the 8-0 pasting at Moorhead in its last start.
Bemidji might well have won by a far greater margin, out shooting the Pirates 21-5 in the first half, putting 11 on target but taking only a 3-2 margin toe the break.
But it stiffened its defense in the second half and held the visitors scoreless with Curb adding his third goal 10 minutes into play to establish the two goal lead.
Bemidji held a firm territorial advantage through the whole game with some pin point passing.
Max Hazelton, who also had a three point day, opened the scoring at 8:02 at the end of a breakaway, connecting from close range off a feed from Kyle Fodness.
Bemidji went into the game knowing it would have to stop the Portillo brothers if hoped to repeat its earlier 3-0 win at Crookston.
For the most part it did.
But they got free twice for goals, both by Mariano.
His first tied the score at 12:56 when he was left un marked for a 20 yarder from the right side that eluded Kevin Larson.
Bemidji got that one back at the 31 minute mark on Curb's first tally.
It came off a free kick just inside the box with Isak Sommer shuffling the ball to his left to Curb who boomed in a 30 yarder.
Three minutes later Curb repeated on a breakaway with Hazelton connecting from close range.
But Portillo was given breathing room once again another three minutes later when he deked out a Bemidji defender who slipped leaving Mariano open for a 25 yarder from the right side, almost duplicating his first goal.
Larson had five stops at the break. Andy Shafer rejected eight Bemidji shots.
After 15 minutes in the locker room to dry out, Crookston came out with renewed vigor to start the second half and peppered the goal with several promising shots which failed to connect.
Bemidji weathered this storm and began taking charge, holding the ball for long periods of time in the offensive zone though getting fewer shots than in the first 40 minutes of play.
Crookston actually ended with a 12-11 shots edge in the half but was unable to put any home.
Curb widened the gap back to two goals at 50:29 with a 20 yard bullet from head on.
Hazelton drew his second feed on the tally.
Crookston actually had three more goals disallowed, twice on off side calls and third for a hand pass call.
That number in a single game is a rarity.
The Jacks head to St. Cloud Tech tomorrow for the Tiger Invitational meeting Tech and St. John's Prep this year.
Moorhead will meet the same two opponents in reverse order.
East Grand Forks will play here Monday in the next home game. The last league game of the year.
Crookston 2 0---2
Bemidji 3 2---5
8:02 Bem-Hazelton (Fodness)
12:56 Ckn-M. Portillo (J. Portillo)
31:02 Bem-Curb (Sommer)
34:32 Bem-Curb (Hazelton)
37:38 Ckn -M. Portillo (Gregg)
5o:29 Bem-Curb (Hazelton)
Ckn -Shafer 8 6---14
Bem-Larson 5 6---11
Corner kicks: Crookston 6, Bemidji 4
Officials: Dobbelstein, Rogers and Kramer