Shaky home debut

Magi soccer drops home opener 2-1 against Bismarck High

Alex Eisen/MDN MHS senior Cody Burke (10) rises up for a header Thursday evening against Bismarck High at the Optimist Soccer Complex.

The home opener for the Minot High School boys soccer team left much to be desired.

Following a scoreless first half, the Magicians eventually collapsed under the consistent pressure of the Bismarck High Demons and surrendered a pair of goals in the second half to fall 2-1 Thursday evening at the Optimist Soccer Complex.

“There was a lot of highs and lows throughout the course of this game,” MHS head coach Creighton Bachmeier said. “I thought we were a bit nervy at the beginning, but you have to tip your cap to Reegan Meyer and Cameron Bolinske — two sophomores who play center back. If it wasn’t for them in the first 10 minutes, then this thing could have gotten ugly. They did a tremendous job and there are things we have to work, which is exciting for training sessions.”

The Magi (1-2, 0-1 WDA) scored their lone goal with two minutes and 21 seconds remaining in regulation. Senior forward Courage Amsbury sprung free on a through ball by junior forward Noah Schmidt.

It turned out to be a consolation goal in a game that was mostly controlled possession wise by the Demons (3-0-1, 2-0 WDA).

“(Midfielders) Cody Burke, Walter (Markle), Lucas (Opstad) and Ezra (Hagerott) just suffocated tonight because there was no options to link up forward,” Bachmeier said. “Once you can start possessing through the midfield and go forward, that also helps the backline. We got a little bit of work to do in those spots.”

Bismarck High scored its first goal on a front post cross by Caden Evanson to Abdoul Sow streaking to the front of the net. Minot first-year varsity goalkeeper Braden Cochran stood helpless in facing the point-blank shot.

Cochran made nine saves, as Bismarck outshot Minot 18-11 (11-5 shots on target).

“A bright spot was seeing some of the young guys step up,” Bachmeier said. “Ezra Hagerott coming off the bench, Cameron Bolinske and Reegan Meyer. And it was really good to get Braden Cochran in a conference game and he did a bang up job for us. But, the best part, was seeing our guys compete. Now, we have to correct some things.”

The Demons’ second goal was credited as an own goal with the Magi unable to clear the ball out of their own 18-yard box.

“Was this pretty at times? No,” Bachmeier said. “Was it systematically or tactically good? Probably not. This wasn’t good enough in certain regards tonight. I’ll take a majority of that, that’s all on me. We weren’t well coached for 80 minutes. That’s something I need to do a better job of. But, this group is heading in the right direction.”

Minot returns to action next Thursday (Aug. 30) at 7:30 p.m. against Bismarck Legacy at the Optimist Soccer Complex.

Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.