Jamestown edges Minot, 1-0
In a match with few scoring opportunities, all it took was one goal to decide a winner.
And in the 56th minute of Friday night’s Class A West Region girls soccer match at Herb Parker Stadium, that is exactly what Jamestown got.
Jamestown junior forward Emily Reiten took a ball played down the middle of the field and got it passed Minot sophomore goalkeeper Becca Kostenko to give the Blue Jays a 1-0 win.
“We played well enough to win,” Minot coach Matt Pfau said. “It’s disappointing to get no points out of this. But it’s hard to get points when there’s a zero on the scoreboard.”
For the first 40 minutes, both teams played a back-and-forth match as both clubs ended the opening half with just three shots on goal.
The turning point of the match came in the second half as the Blue Jays created numerous scoring opportunities in the first 15 minutes.
And the pressure finally paid off a short time later as Reiten took a ball played by sophomore Megan Gaffaney, and converted her ninth goal of the season.
“This is a big one,” Jamestown coach Mike Schulz said. “When you look at our program over the last few years this is huge.”
With the win, the Blue Jays (6-1-1 overall, 4-1-1 region) overtake Minot (6-2, 4-2) by a single point in the West Region standings. Jamestown has also limited its opponents to just three goals in eight matches this season.
“We’ve got to figure out how to create more offense,” Pfau said. “We end up playing with the ball to much in the middle, or we turn it over.”
Perhaps, the Majettes best opportunities to score came late in the match.
In the 63rd minute, a header off of a corner kick missed, and the subsequent rebound shot went wide.
In the 77th minute, Minot sophomore Miya Lennon, from the right wing, placed a ball right in front of the Jamestown goal, however, a Blue Jay defender knocked the ball up in the air before Jamestown goalkeeper junior Haley Hillstrom was able to pull it in.
“I’m pleased with the effort,” Schulz said. “This is what it takes to beat Minot. You have to work hard and play for 80 minutes.”
After a great start to the season, the Majettes suddenly find themselves in a two-game losing skid.
“Someone has figured out how to play us defensively,” Pfau said. “And everyone is going to copy it until we figure it out.”
The focal point of the Jamestown defense was limiting Lennon’s opportunities. While the Minot sophomore did get a few shots on goal, she was held in check.
“We knew she was a big goal scorer,” Schulz said. “So we kept an eye on her. All the credit goes to our defense.”
Minot returns to action Tuesday with a match at Mandan.
Mark Jones covers high school sports and general assignments. Follow him on Twitter @hoopsfan27_MDN.