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Bemidji HS soccer team blanks Lakers to advance

The Bemidji boys soccer team is 7-1 over its last eight games and during that span the Lumberjacks have allowed three goals. The streak has extended into the first two rounds of the 8A tournament and Thursday BHS posted its second consecutive section shutout when it blanked Detroit Lakes 1-0 in Bemidji.

Thursday's victory vaulted the Lumberjacks into Tuesday's section semifinals at Sartell which was the top seed from 8A South and and defeated No. 4 Becker 6-1 Thursday.

BHS coach Rick Toward was impressed with Thursday's shutout but he would not have minded if the Jacks (14-4-1) had scored another goal or two.

"We've been a pretty good defensive team all year and we've been getting stronger down the stretch and into the playoffs," Toward said. "I didn't think we'd keep Detroit Lakes off the board but we did and the entire team shared in this shutout."

Kyle Fodness scored the only goal of the game 11:40 into the action on a penalty kick. Bemidji was on the attack and the Detroit Lakes netminder was out of position after making a save. His defenseman assumed the goalie's position and made a stop but was whistled for a handball.

The result was a penalty shot and Fodness drilled the ball into the lower left corner.

"Kyle just buried that shot," Toward said. "I really didn't think the final score would be 1-0. We had other chances and I told the kids that in a tight game like this you have to bury your chances, you have to finish the opportunities.

"I really would have liked one more goal because then I could have taken a breath. When it's 1-0 you can't relax at all."

Connor McNallan finished with five saves in the Bemidji net while the Jacks directed 21 shots toward the Detroit Lakes goal.

The girls gave second-ranked Detroit Lakes all it could handle in Thursday's 8A quarterfinals but the Lumberjacks came up short in their upset bid.

Detroit Lakes outscored BHS 3-2 in a shootout and claimed the win 2-1.

"It was a great game," said Lumberjacks coach Kelly Schoonover. "There were many ups and downs in this game and it could have gone either way. There were two even teams on the field and, even though we lost, it was a fun game to be a part of."

Each teams scored in the first half. Josie Spry had the honors for Bemidji as she connected unassisted at the 18-minute mark.

The Lakers answered with one minute remaining in the half, however, and the deadlock continued extended into the 20-minute overtime.

Neither team scored in the extra session and the teams prepared for the shootout.

Alexa Wang and Spry scored with Bemidji's first two shots but Detroit Lakes matched those goals.

Bemidji missed its next two while the Lakers connected on their fourth shot to take the lead. When Bemidji missed its fifth attempt Detroit Lakes had the victory.

Casey Palmer had 14 saves in regulation and the overtime and stopped one of the four shootout attempts. The Detroit Lakes goalie had 11 saves and three more in the shootout.

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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