GRAND RAPIDS – The Bemidji girls soccer team has been working on maintaining ball possession and Thursday those efforts paid dividends as the Lumberjacks stopped Grand Rapids 3-0.
Rachel Bitter scored a pair of goals courtesy of assists by Erin Booth and Booth connected with help from Bitter to give BHS its sixth victory in eight starts.
“We’ve stressed keeping possession and that is something we did very well Thursday,” said Bemidji coach Kelly Schoonover. “Grand Rapids also did a nice job of keeping possession and it really was an even game, especially in the first half.”
Neither team could crack the other’s defense in the opening 40 minutes. Bemidji goalkeeper Cassidy Morris and her Thunderhawks counterpart Alyssa Melhus each made five saves in the scoreless half.
The Jacks broke through, however, three minutes into the second stanza when Booth sent a crossing pass to Bitter who was camped outside the right post and Bitter redirected it into the net.
At the 47-minute mark Bemidji was whistled for a foul and Grand Rapids was awarded a penalty shot. Morris, however, was up to the task as she dived across the crease to make the save and keep the Jacks on top.
Bemidji upped its advantage to 2-0 with 16 minutes to play as Booth dribbled through the defense and beat Melhus.
Bitter capped the scoring two minutes later as she found a spot 18 yards out and converted another crossing pass from Booth.
Morris finished with 11 saves and Melhus had eight.
“All in all, the girls did a great job,” Schoonover said. “They left the field knowing that they accomplished what we wanted to do – control the play through ball possession.”
The Lumberjacks hope to continue that success Saturday when they entertain Moorhead at 1 p.m.
Bemidji 0 3 - 3
Grand Rapids 0 0 - 0
B-Bitter (Booth). 43:00
B-Booth (Bitter). 64:00
B-Bitter (Booth). 67:00
Morris (B) 5 6 - 11
Melhus (GR) 5 3 - 8