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Bemidji boys soccer beats Grand Rapids

Bemidji defenseman David Wyllie takes the ball away from Grand Rapids midfielder Johnny Eiehle during the first half of Tuesday's 2-1 Lumberjacks victory. Pioneer Photo/Monte Draper

Isak Sommer banged home a third rebound off the post 52 minutes into the game and that goal helped spark the Bemidji boys soccer team to a 2-1 victory Tuesday over Grand Rapids at the middle school field.

The winning play began with a corner kick and the Bemidji offense hit two cross bars and a post before Sommer slipped the ball past Thunderhawks goalie Brice Becker from close range.

The visitors took a 1-0 lead midway through the first half but the Jacks tied it two minutes into the second stanza when Patrick Trummer connected off Kyle Fodness' feed.

After Sommer gave BHS the lead Bemidji was able to protect it by playing its ball control game.

"We knew we had enough goals to win and we continued to work our possession game," said Lumberjacks coach Rick Toward. "Grand Rapids resorted to a kick-ball game trying to create something right away instead of working the ball up the field. Usually when a team plays that style it is a sign that the team is pressing."

The Thunderhawks did manufacture a series of legitimate scoring opportunities in the final 25 minutes but each time BHS goaltender Connor McNallan was able to make the save.

"A coach puts a kid like Connor back there because he has the hands to control the play," Toward said. "I am comfortable that around the 18-yard zone Connor will handle 99 percent of the situations."

In the first half Grand Rapids owned a territorial edge and at intermission the Thunderhawks had the lone goal.

"I told the kids at halftime that we are a better team than what I was seeing on the field," Toward said. "We talked about the difference between talent and heart and I told them that we had to play to our ability in the second half."

The Lumberjacks listened and two minutes into the second half Trummer scored the tying goal.

"I felt pretty confident after we got the first goal that we were going to get a second one," Toward said. "And 10 minutes later we did."

After starting the season 0-2 Tuesday's victory evened Bemidji's record at 2-2. The Jacks travel to East Grand Forks Thursday.

Bemidji 2, Grand Rapids 1

Grand Rapids 1 0 - 1

Bemidji 0 2 - 2

First Half

GR-Larson (unassisted) 20:00

Second Half

Bem-Trummer (Fodness) 42:00

Bem-Sommer (Gorick) 52:00


Becker 4 4 - 8

McNallan 2 6 - 8

Pat Miller

Pat Miller is the sports editor at the Pioneer.

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