GIRLS SOCCER: Jacks dissatisfied in 0-0 draw with Alexandria

091920.S.BP.BHSGSOC Emma Neubeck.jpg
Bemidji senior Emma Neubeck (7) boots the ball downfield in Thursday’s game Alexandria at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

BEMIDJI -- While a 0-0 draw often accompanies mixed emotions, Thursday’s tone leaned toward disappointment for the Bemidji High School girls soccer team.

“That feels like a missed opportunity,” head coach Logan Larsen said. “I thought Alex played a good game, but we recognized what we could have done there, how they played their backline and how to exploit it, but we just didn’t execute.”

The Lumberjacks played Alexandria to a scoreless tie Thursday night at Chet Anderson Stadium on a night where legitimate scoring threats were hard to come by on either side.

“They were holding a high line, and we just couldn’t get it past their defense,” senior defender Emma Neubeck said. “We should have many times. They were a good team, they were an aggressive team. It was a tough game, for sure.”

The game wasn’t lacking in scoring opportunities, but rarely did something of promise culminate with anything on target. The two sides combined for just six shots on goal over 80 minutes.


“As a defense, it’s tough because we keep them shut out, but we’ve struggled at scoring this year,” Neubeck said. “It’s definitely tough to walk away 0-0. It’s a difficult feeling to describe, but it’s definitely tough.”

091920.S.BP.BHSGSOC Miah Stone.jpg
Bemidji junior Miah Stone (3) takes a shot in a game Thursday against Alexandria at Chet Anderson Stadium. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Through six games this year, BHS (3-1-2) has averaged 2.0 goals per night. That’s down from 3.6 last year. A tougher schedule certainly plays a role in that difference, but Larsen also wanted to see his team take advantage of the chances it had.

“Know your enemy,” he said of Alexandria’s high backline. “Recognize what the other team presents and exploit it. And we didn’t. … We didn’t make the most of our strengths, and we didn’t capitalize on what they really left open for us.”

Peyton Oelrich rifled in a shot on target in the third minute, but that turned out to be anything but foreshadowing for Bemidji. Marah Bitter’s shot on goal in the 45th minute was the last that the Jacks mustered.

The Cardinals (5-0-2) saw windows of opportunity themselves, including a few that looked like they could open the floodgates to consistent pressure. But the BHS defense didn’t allow itself to get overwhelmed, preserving the clean sheet all night.

“There were times when the other team countered quick, and we had to kind of scramble. I think we did all right there,” Larsen said of his defense. “(Keeper Jody Pemberton) had a great game and made some big saves. … That’s really what we had to shut down -- those counters -- for the most part. I would have liked it if Jody had fewer saves to make, but luckily, we had her.”


Pemberton played all match, the first game in which Bemidji hasn’t rotated keepers at halftime, and made four saves. Sophia Vinje was 2-for-2 in net for Alexandria.

“We have very new goalies this year, and a very new team,” Neubeck said. “As the games have gone by, and as the season has gone by, it’s definitely gotten easier to rely on my backline and know that they’re going to be there to cover if I need to step up for any ball.

“It’s a different atmosphere this year, for sure, but it’s a good atmosphere. It took a while to get used to, but I think we’re getting better during every game.”

The Lumberjacks will return to action at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 22, in Brainerd.

Bemidji 0, Alexandria 0

ALX 0 0 -- 0

BHS 0 0 -- 0


First half -- No scoring.

Second half -- No scoring.

Saves -- Pemberton (BHS) 4; Vinje (ALX) 2.

Micah Friez is the former sports editor at the Bemidji Pioneer. A native of East Grand Forks, Minn., he worked at the Pioneer from 2015-23 and is a 2018 graduate of Bemidji State University with a degree in Creative and Professional Writing.
What To Read Next
Get Local