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Bemidji HS boys soccer: Lumberjacks top Apollo for third straight win

Bemidji's Zach Jones and St. Cloud Apollo's Vuong Nyguen battle for a loose ball during Saturday's game. Pioneer Photo/Eric Stromgren

The Bemidji High boys soccer team turned in one of its finest performances of the year Saturday, beating St. Cloud Apollo 3-1 at the Middle School field.

It lifted the Jacks to 9-3-1 and assured them of a winning season.

They are 9-1-1 in their past 11 starts.

Apollo, once the dominant team in Section 8AA, is suffering through an off year with only two seniors on the roster.

The team also underwent a coaching change at mid season when its head coach resigned and assistant Mendel Midy took over the reins.

He played Saturday with only two reserves while the Jacks were short several reserves but had their full cast of starters on the field.

Bemidji dominated the opening half much as it did in its last start against Hibbing.

But the Eagles were a far stronger team than the Bluejackets.

Bemidji outshot the visitors only 13-9 in the opening half but controlled play throughout putting five of its 13 on goal.

Apollo had only one shot on the net which Carl Graefe handled easily.

Isak Sommer began the scoring at 2:52 banging home a header off a corner kick by Kyle Fodness.

At 9:04, Max Hazelton doubled the score driving home a 15 yarder inside the box off a Luke Uptrend feed.

While Bemidji had numerous good scoring chances in the following 25 minutes, the 2-0 scorer held until Nick Gorick connected at 36:41 drilling a long 50 yarder from the deep left side over goalie Andy Seerahart. Tony Smith drew the assist on the goal.

That was to prove the final Bemidji goal. While the Jacks held the upper hand in the final 40 minutes, it was not nearly to the extent of the opening half.

But Apollo failed to score until 66:40 when Reid Evans connected inside the box off a Vuong Nguyen feed.

The visitors had an apparent second goal at 75:39 waved off on an offside call, another long bomb that caromed off Graefe into the net.

Graefe ended with only two saves. Seerahart had six for Apollo.

The Eagles are 2-8 on the season.

The Jacks face another stiff battle Tuesday when they host Moorhead and play at Crookston Thursday in an 8A-North and Lakes to Prairie Conference test.

"I thought we played a strong game, especially in the first half," said Coach Rick Toward, "We let down some in attacking the net after the break but still contained a team that is far stronger than its record.