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BHS Saturday roundup: Brainerd hands Bemidji girls 2-1 soccer setback

Bemidji's Brit Kiser dribbles past a defender during Saturday's game against Brainerd. The visitors stopped the Lumberjacks 2-1. Bemidji returns to action Tuesday when it hosts Moorhead. Pioneer Photo/Pat Miller

Bemidji's Josie Spry scored 17 minutes into the game, but Brainerd countered with a pair of goals in the first half and the Warriors hung on through a scoreless second period to down the Lumberjack girls soccer team 2-1 Saturday in Bemidji.

Saturday's setback evened Bemidji's record at 5-5. The Lumberjacks will try to better the .500 mark Tuesday when they entertain Moorhead at 5 p.m.

"We started out slowly but we played much better in the second half," said BHS coach Kelly Schoonover. "We played with Brainerd on even terms in the second half, especially defensively. Even though we lost we can hold our heads high because we played well.

"And that's all I can expect," Schoonover said.

Brainerd opened the scoring 13 minutes into the game but Spry answered four minutes later. Erin Booth drew the assist when she ripped a long shot which bounced off defenders and deflected off Spry and into the net.

The 1-1 deadlock continued until the 34-minute mark when Brainerd (5-2-2) scored what proved to be the game-winner.

Casey Palmer played well in the Bemidji net as the freshman had 10 stops, five in each half. Among her saves were a point-blank stop off a free kick by Tori Saxum five minutes into the second half and a diving deflection of Stacy Tetreault's bender from 15 yards away.

Saturday's game marked the start of a busy week which includes Tuesday's home game against Moorhead, a trip to East Grand Forks on Thursday and a visit to St. Cloud Apollo next Saturday.

A quick start which saw Bemidji score a pair of goals within the first 11 minutes spurred the Lumberjacks boys soccer team to a 3-1 win Saturday at Brainerd.

"I like this trend of scoring early and taking control from the outset," said BHS coach Rick Toward.

"We kept possession of the ball and owned the first 30 minutes. And the result was a 2-0 lead," Toward said. "But then we became complacent in the final 10 minutes of the first half and Brainerd scored.

"We addressed that issue at halftime," the coach added.

Apparently, the message was understood.

"We controlled play again in the second half," said Toward, whose team improved to 7-2-1. "Overall, we controlled the ball for about 70 minutes and whenever you do that you'll be in pretty good shape."

Max Hazelton opened the scoring 2:15 into the action when he banged a rebound of Kyle Fodness' shot past the goalie.

Fodness upped the lead to 2-0 eight minutes later on a free kick from just outside the box.

Brainerd (4-5-2) tallied its lone goal at the 35-minute mark but 13 minutes into the second session Isak Sommer scored an insurance marker when he capped a give-and-go with Hazelton by converting his own rebound.

Connor McNallan tended the Lumberjacks net and needed only four saves to collect the win. The Jacks ripped 11 shots at the Bemidji goalie.

The Lumberjacks will face another tough opponent Tuesday when they head to Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. HLA downed the Jacks 2-1 in the second game of the season and Tuesday's contest will provide an update on Bemidji's improvement.

"We're a better team now than we were then," Toward said. "But so is Hillcrest. It should be a good game."

In Saturday's preliminary, Bemidji claimed the junior varsity game 4-1.

Dillon Eichstadt notched three goals and Wyatt Miller one. Alex Schussman contributed two assists.

Matt Bitter stopped five shots in the Bemidji net.

Steph Frey won the 200 medley and 100 breaststroke and anchored the winning 400 free relay foursome to help the Bemidji swimming and diving team place second at Saturday's Hibbing Invitational.

Frey won the 200 medley in 2:20.77 and captured the 100 breasstroke in 1:11.62.

Joining her on the 400 free relay team were Laura Yourd, Maris Jahner and Erin Arndt. The foursome combined for a time of 3:58.96.

Lexie Hendricks also was an event winner as she claimed the 500 free in 5:54.49.

Contributing a second-place finish was Jana Hedstrom in diving with 309 points.

The Lumberjacks finished with 453 points and trailed only Hibbing which tallied 487. Cambridge-Isanti was third with 399 while Grand Rapids finished fourth with 327.

Completing the standings werre Eveleth-Gilbert at 254, International Falls at 198, Mesabi East at 140 and Chisholm at 44.

Cortne and Jessica Solberg teamed for a runner-up finish at first doubles at Saturday's Hibbing Invitational tennis tournament.

Bemidji finished fifth in the team standings with 14 points. Virginia captured the championship with 27 while Hibbing (25), Stillwater (24), Grand Rapids (16) and Bemidji completed the top five.

Also competing were Duluth East (13), Eveleth-Gilbert (12) and Pine City (2).

The Solberg sisters compiled a 2-1 record on way to their runner-up finish.

Also finishing at 2-1 and placing third was the second doubles tandem of Katie Ditmanson and Emma Nielsen.

Haley Pollock and Claire Baumgartner were fifth at third doubles with a 2-1 record.

In singles action Amy Frosaker went 1-2 and placed seventh at first singles while MacKenzie Schultz was sixth with a 1-2 mark at second. Claudie Bellew also was sixth and finished 1-2 at third singles.

Francesca Huerd was 1-1 at fourth singles and Annika Johnson was 0-1 at the same position. The two combined to finish fourth.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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