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Bemidji HS boys soccer stuns Hillcrest Academy

Bemidji's Tanner Koetter (7) clears the ball away from the Bemidji goal during Saturday's game against Hillcrest Academy at Bemidji Middle School. From left is Mike Rees, goalie Kevin Larson, Mike Smith and Hillcrest's Steinar Hjelset. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji High boys soccer team scored its most dramatic victory in several seasons Saturday, beating defending Lakes to Prairie Conference champs 3-1 at the Middle School.

The game was played in near perfect weather and drew a good turnout to see the Jacks raise their record to 2-0.

They head to Detroit Lakes Tuesday and host Walker Thursday in two more league games.

Bemidji never trailed, scoring the only goal of the first half before breaking a 1-1 tie with two closing goals in the second.

Those came from Rylee Curb on breakaways as the Jacks were able to dent then Hillcrest defense repeatedly.

Actually, they could have won by a more convincing score but missed at least five close range shots into near open nets down the stretch.

In the long run, Bemidji wore down the Comets in the warm weather game with the Comets losing four players in the second half for brief periods. Most returned before the game ended.

Kevin Larson was solid in goal, rejecting eight shots. Hector Lemus had seven saves for Hillcrest.

The Comets fielded their usual array of international players their annual run of one year exchange students featuring players from Scandinavia Africa, Central America, Mexico and even China.

The two teams meet again at Fergus Falls Sept. 23.

Hillcrest held a wide territorial advantage in the first half, out shooting Bemidji 12-8 but having the ball in the offensive zone far more than that margin.

But Bemidji broke the scoreless tie at the 36:28 mark when Mike Rees drove home a ball in a scrum in front of the net with Kyle Fodness getting the feed.

Lemus had four stops in the half while Larson had only two.

Bemidji used a dump and chase attack, keeping the ball away from the box as much as possible with long boots into the offensive zone, content to have its quick forwards race the Hillcrest defense for possession.

It also battled the Comets for every loose ball and won many of these contests to avoid trouble.

The lead evaporated quickly in the second half when Truls Petter Jorgensen canned the lone Hillcrest goal at the left corner at the end of a 3 on 2 breakaway.

Curb got the lead back only five minutes later off a Fodness feed connecting in the crease from the right side.

And he repeated two minutes later at the end of a 2 on 1 breakaway, banging home a 15 yarder from the right side.

From that point Bemidji was content to keep the pressure on Hillcrest and keep the ball away from trouble.

As the Fergus team began tiring noticeably, Bemidji began exerting more pressure and getting loose for high quality shots.

Unfortunately it was not able to connect on the opportunities.

The Comets best shot came at the 71 minute mark when a promising shot hit the right post and caromed away.

Hillcrest ended with a 27-22 shots advantage but put only nine on target. Bemidji had 10 on goal.

The B Team scored its second 1-1 tie in two nights, again coming from behind to overcome a 1-0 deficit.

Fath Abdi scored for Hillcrest at the 68 minute mark. Dillon Eichstadt tied it two minutes later

Ben Schreiber had four stops in the first half. Chris Graefe had three in the second. Fergus rejected 11 shots.

Hillcrest Academy 0 1---1

Bemidji 1 2---3

36:28 Bem -Rees (Fodness)

42:50 HA-Jorgensen (Villagomes)

47:07 Bem-Curb (Fodness)

49:36 Bem-Curb (Koetter)

Goal Stops

HA-Lemus 4 3---7

Bem-Larson 2 6--8

Officials; Dennis Dobbelstein, Dan Kramer and Brad Paulson

- - - - -

Hillcrest Academy B 0 1---1

Bemidji B 0 1---1

68:00 HA-Abdi

70:00 Bem-Eichstadt

Goal Stops

Hillcrest- 6 5---11

Bem-Schreiber 4 x xx

Bem-Graefe 3---7