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Strong effort comes up short for BHS boys soccer in loss

For the second time in as many days the Bemidji boys soccer team dropped a 2-1 road decision.

Friday the Lumberjacks lost at Little Falls and Saturday they fell at Hillcrest Lutheran Academy. Tuesday the Jacks will hit the road again, this time visiting Detroit Lakes.

Their first home appearance will be Sept. 6 against Grand Rapids.

"We actually played very well," BHS coach Rick Toward said of Saturday's setback. "We had Hillcrest on its heels much of the day. We would rather be 2-0 instead of 0-2 but I'm not disappointed. The kids left everything they had on the field."

This season Bemidji is employing a different style of attack that centers on quality instead of quantity in terms of scoring opportunities.

Saturday's action mirrored that approach as the Jacks sent only three shots on the HLA net while the home team mustered only four against BHS goalie Connor McNallan.

"We want to play a controlled game," Toward said. "Saturday both sides had only two saves and that is the type of game we want to play. We won't get as many scoring opportunities but the ones we do have will be quality chances."

Luis Martinez converted two of HLA's opportunities. At the 36-minute mark he had possession inside the box and after two of his shots were blocked by the defense he scored on the third attempt rebound.

Martinez tallied again 11 minutes into the second stanza on a breakaway.

The Lumberjacks notched their goal at the 76-minute mark when Matt Bitter headed home Kyle Fodness' corner kick for his first goal as a varsity player.

"The goal was scored just the way you would draw it in the sand," Toward said. "Kyle drilled the corner as hard as he could and everyone moved to it. Matt was the one who went above the crowd to head it into the net. When the play ended there were six guys in the Hillcrest net.

"We're 0-2 but we've played two very competitive teams," the coach continued. "When you play very good teams you will have a few losses but I'm pleased with our performances."

HLA 2, Bemidji 1

Bemidji 0 1 - 1

Hillcrest Luth. Aca. 1 1 - 2


First Half

HLA-Martinez (unassisted) 36:00

Second Half

HLA-Martinez (unassisted) 51:00

Bem-Bitter (Fodness) 76:00


McNallan (Bem) 1 1 - 2

HLA 1 1 - 2

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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