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Booth leads Bemidji girls to victory

Erin Booth beat Detroit Lakes defender Haley Foster and scored her second goal of Thursday's game with this hard shot. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Erin Booth scored two goals and dished out four assists to lead the Bemidji girls soccer team to a 6-3 home victory Thursday over Detroit Lakes.

Booth now has a team-high 18 goals and 18 assists.

"Erin is a real important player," said Lumberjacks head coach Kelly Schoonover. "She begins the play every time. She either scores the goal or makes it happen. She is such a valuable player for us. Her vision helps all of the girls."

Detroit Lakes (8-7-1) had the first opportunity to score in the fourth minute but Bemidji goalkeeper Casey Palmer made a diving stop on a shot off Carly Busker's corner kick.

Taylor Jasken broke away two minutes later and appeared to have a great opportunity for a quality shot but was Jasken caught from behind by Bemidji's Sierra Anderson.

Booth recorded her first assist nine minutes into the game when she dished to Stina Haave who scored her second goal of the season.

Just a few minutes later it was Booth who scored her first goal of the game to increase the Lumberjacks lead to 2-0.

The goal was assisted by Emily Boyer, her third of the fall.

Palmer made back-to-back saves in the 20th minute on shots from Libby Schmidt.

Less than a minute later Bemidji's Josie Spry scored on an assist from Booth.

Booth's second goal came at the 17:46 mark and gave the Lumberjacks a 4-0 lead which they carried into intermission.

Caitlin Blotske recorded her seventh assist of the year on the play.

"I am most proud of the first half," said Schoonover. "The minute my girls step on the field, they are ready to play."

The Lumberjacks wasted no time adding to their lead in the second half. Booth found Spry for a second time and Spry's shot trickled through the hands of Lakers' goalkeeper Courtney Gray.

Detroit Lakes got on the board in the 47th minute when Natalie Roth scored on a free kick.

In the 67th minute Blotske scored her 12th goal of the season Booth's fourth assist.

Two minutes later, Emily Payne scored for the Lakers to trim the deficit to 6-2 and the visitors ended the scoring with 4:43 remaining in the game when Ashley Friesnen's shot escaped the reach of a leaping Palmer.

Thursday's contest was the last regular season home game for the Lumberjacks' four seniors - Blotske, Haave, Kelsey Merck, and Kiah Hartung.

"The four seniors are definitely going to be missed," Schoonover said. "They truly are the leaders of our team, on and off the field. They play and practice hard and are fantastic role-models. It is going to be hard to fill their shoes next year."

Bemidji (10-5) will play in Brainerd 10 a.m. Saturday.