Boys soccer: Josh Claussen picks perfect time for first varsity goal
BEMIDJI — Josh Claussen could not have picked a better time to score his first varsity goal as a member of the Bemidji boys soccer team. During the early going of the second half of Tuesday’s game against Moorhead Claussen ripped a lazer from 30 yards out which zipped past Moorhead netminder Zach Holtgrewe.
Claussen’s goal tied the game at 1-1 and the deadlock stood the rest of regulation and the 10 minutes of overtime.
The 1-1 draw improved Bemidji’s record to 4-4-3 and Lumberjacks coach Rick Toward could not be happier with the way his team has bounced back from its 0-3 start.
“Moorhead is ranked 12th in the state Class 2A poll so this is a very good tie for us,” Toward said. “On paper Moorhead probably is a better team so finishing in a 1-1 tie with a quality Class 2A opponent is a very good result.”
Tuesday’s game also marked the first time a Bemidji High School soccer team has played on the new turf at Chet Anderson Stadium. The Lumberjacks girls team will have its chance to play on the field on Oct. 3.
“It was a nice switch to play under the lights. It was a neat experience,” Toward said. “The field is very fast and both teams had to adjust to the speed of the game. The ball just doesn’t slow down on this turf.”
Toward also noticed some faces in the crowd that he normally doesn’t see during the late afternoon games at the middle school.
“I saw some people who are just soccer fans but who can’t make it to the day games,” Toward said. “I think we accomplished everything we wanted to accomplish by playing a night game at the college.”
The accomplishment also included the 1-1 tie against the Spuds.
Moorhead took a lead five minutes into the action when Anthony Juven beat BHS goalie Matthew Bitter on a breakaway. Defenses and goaltending held sway the rest of the half, however, and Moorhead owned the 1-0 lead at intermission.
Claussen’s goal six minutes into the second stanza knotted the game and turned out to be the final goal of the contest.
Moorhead blew a golden opportunity to take the lead when a penalty kick with nine minutes to play in regulation sailed over the net. Bemidji also had a chance in regulation as Claussen clanked a header off the crossbar.
Holtgrewe finished with four saves while Bitter stopped eight shots.
Bemidji returns to the middle school pitch 4 p.m. Thursday when it hosts Crookston.
Moorhead 1 0 0 - 1
Bemidji 0 1 0 - 1
M-Juven (Judisch) 4:55
B-Claussen (Kovach) 46:19
Holtgrewe (M) 1 3 0 - 4
Bitter (B) 2 5 1 - 8