Century outlasts Minot for 3-1 win

Going into Tuesday night’s critical West Region girls soccer contest against Century, Minot High coach Matt Pfau knew exactly what his team needed to do.

“Before the game, we knew we had to win the balls in the air,” he said. “And we didn’t do that.”

And ultimately, that cost the Majettes.

Century got two second half goals from senior Calista Moch as the Patriots remained perfect in the West Region standings with a 3-1 win over Minot.

“The girls came out and played a full 80 minutes,” Century coach Nate Ulness said. “I love their intensity.”

The Patriots set the tone early as sophomore Lexi Gura scored at the 2:35 mark of the match as she was able to sneak the ball past Minot sophomore goalkeeper Rebecca Kostenko off a rebound from a corner kick.

After that score, Minot was on its heels for the remainder of the opening half. The Majettes finished the first 40 minutes without a shot on goal or a corner kick.

“We wanted to come out and press and get that first one,” Ulness said. “And then we wanted to press until we got that second and a third.”

The Patriots took the 1-0 lead into intermission.

And Century didn’t have to wait long to find the back of the net in the second half.

Moch scored an unassisted goal nearly four minutes into the half to give the Patriots a 2-0 lead.

Minot finally started getting some rushes at the offensive end a few minutes later, which resulted in its lone corner kick of the match, which came in the 47th minute.

Still, Century had the Majettes on their heels.

“They played very well defensively,” Pfau said. “They knew we were going to go to Mia (Lennon).”

Part of the Patriots’ plan was to take Lennon – a Minot sophomore forward – out of the game. Lennon, who is among the team leaders in scoring, was held without a shot in Thursday’s match.

“They were athletic,” Pfau said. “They always had a (defender) on her.”

With Century’s focus on Lennon, it opened up opportunities for other Minot players.

And freshman Allison Lepp took advantage.

In the 65th minutes, Lepp, who was at midfield, took a pass from the right wing and kicked in a shot over the outstretched arms of Century senior goalkeeper Alissa Betz.

But that would be as close as the Majettes got.

Ten minutes later, Moch added her second goal of the match to give the Patriots some breathing room.

“A win on the road is spectacular,” Ulness said. “They are a tough team to play on the road.”

For the match, Century (7-1 overall, 6-0 region) outshot Minot 11-3, and held a 5-1 edge on corner kicks.

“They were 5-0 and we were 4-0 coming in,” Pfau said. “We are fine. We just got to keep our heads high and learn from this.”

Minot (6-1, 4-1) hosts Jamestown on Friday.

Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignements. Follow him on Twitter