The three-game homestand to begin the Bemidji boys soccer season ended on a positive note Tuesday as the Lumberjacks dominated Detroit Lakes 4-1.
BHS opened the fall with a 2-0 loss to Little Falls and a 2-1 setback at the hands of Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. Heading into Tuesday's contest coach Rick Toward challenged his offense to maintain possession and manufacture scoring opportunities. And the offense responded.
"Our goal was to possess the ball," Toward said. "Before Tuesday we seemed to panic when we had a chance to keep possession. We would just get rid of the ball instead of working with it.
"Tuesday I wanted to see us play like we were in an old-fashioned half-court basketball offense. I wanted us to keep possession and when we found open space I wanted us to work the ball," the coach added.
The tactic resulted in three first-half goals. Kyle Fodness converted a feed from Max Hazelton about 10 minutes into the action and Austin Kovach upped the lead to 2-0 when he scored with help from Riley Brooks.
Fodness connected on a penalty kick later in the half and the Jacks enjoyed a 3-0 lead at intermission.
Ben Peterson gave BHS a 4-0 cushion midway through the second stanza when he capped a give-and-go with Hazelton. The visitors avoided the shutout with 17 minutes to play when Sean Colbert scored on a penalty shot.
Carl Graefe made 10 saves in the Bemidji net while his teammates fired 16 shots on Jacob Kempenich.
The Jacks resume their schedule 4:30 p.m. Thursday at Walker-HA. They will be at Grand Rapids Sept. 7.
Moorhead handed the girls soccer team its first loss of the campaign Tuesday as the Spuds downed BHS 6-0 in Moorhead.
"Moorhead is a very intense and quick team and we might have been caught off guard," said Bemidji coach Kelly Schoonover whose team fell to 2-1. "The girls learned that we need to improve our skills and play a quicker game against a team like Moorhead."
The home team led 2-0 at intermission and widened the gap in the second half. The Jacks managed only seven shots while BHS goalie Casey Palmer kept Bemidji in contention with 24 saves.
The Lumberjacks return home Thursday when they entertain Detroit Lakes at 5 p.m.
In Tuesday's preliminary, Moorhead defeated Bemidji's junior varsity 4-1. Kaila Long Voelkner scored Bemidji's goal.
Bemidji's girls swimming and diving team dropped a 110.5-75.5 dual meet decision at Brainerd Tuesday although BHS coach Scott Leindecker was very pleased with the result.
"Brainerd is a very good team and its depth got the better of us," Leindecker said. "But our times were faster than they were at the Willmar Invitational on Saturday and that tells me we are moving in the right direction."
The Jacks captured four event championships Tuesday. Steph Frey won the 200 free in 2:05.89 and the 500 free in 5:45.09.
Alicia Papke-Larson set the pace in the 100 breast with a time of 1:20.32.
BHS also took the 400 free relay as Erin Arndt, Papke-Larson, Maris Jahner and Frey teamed for a time of 4:02.20.
Bemidji is off until Sept. 11 when it will host its annual invitational.