BOYS SOCCER: Sartell bounces Bemidji from section playoffs, 5-1
SARTELL — After a scoreless first half Sartell dominated the second session and downed the Bemidji boys soccer team 5-1 Tuesday in the Section 8A semifinals on a rainy and cold day in Sartell.
During the regular season the Sabres edged Bemidji 1-0 and the tight play continued in Tuesday’s rematch. But the home team, which was seeded No. 1 in the section’s South Division, began to take control in the 10th minute of the second half with a goal following a free kick.
About five minutes later Sartell struck again and two more quick goals gave the Sabres a 4-0 lead.
Bemidji tallied its goal with about 15 minutes left when Alex Schussman picked the pocket of a Sartell defender, dribbled to the net and sent a shot over the keeper and into the cage.
A few minutes later Sartell countered with the game’s final goal.
The Lumberjacks attacked into the face of a strong, cold wind during the first half and the weather conditions limited Bemidji’s ability to mount any offense.
“I thought we played well in the first half, especially going into that wind,” said BHS coach Rick Toward. “Heading into the second half we felt okay because we would have the wind in our favor. But Sartell scored 10 minutes in and before you know it we’re down 3-0 in the first 16 minutes.”
The weather conditions had a hand in two of Sartell’s early tallies as the slick conditions hampered Bemidji’s clearing attempts and the Sabres eventually were able to find the net through the traffic.
“After we were behind 3-0 it was pretty much over so we moved people around and had some fun,” Toward said.
“Sartell is rated sixth or seventh in the state and is a very good team. Sartell is better than we are and deserves to play in the section championship game.”
That game will be Thursday against St. Cloud Apollo which shocked previously unbeaten Hillcrest Lutheran Academy 2-1 in Fergus Falls. HLA entered the game with a 16-0-1 record and was the top seed from the North. St. Cloud Apollo is the second seed from the South.
The game will be played at 5:30 p.m. at St. Cloud State.
“Coming off the field Tuesday we couldn’t be upset,” Toward said. “We gave it everything we had and can be proud of how we played and of our season.”
The Lumberjacks ended the year with a 7-9-3 record.
Section 8A Semifinals
Sartell 5, Bemidji 1
Bemidji 0 1 - 1
Sartell 0 5 - 5
S-Chisholm (unassisted) 50:04
S-Cameron (unassisted) 53:50
S-Cameron (unassisted) 56:10
S-Erickson (penalty kick) 64:31
B-Schussman (unassisted) 65:45
S-Veitch (unassisted) 70:47
Bitter (B) 7 4 - 11
Johnson (S) 0 7 - 7