Flood gates open

Magi socccer blown away by Century, 5-0

Justin Martinez/MDN Minot High senior Cody Burke (10) races toward the ball in Minot's match against Century on Tuesday at the Optimist Soccer Complex. The Magi lost 5-0.

After 60 minutes of fighting, the Magician defense finally cracked.

The Minot High School boys soccer team lost in blowout fashion Tuesday night, falling to Century, 5-0, at home in a game that was a tale of two halves.

The Magi and Patriots couldn’t find any separation in the early moments, entering the half with the score still knotted at zero apiece. Minot found itself on the defense for a large portion of the first 40 minutes, narrowly escaping a number of Century’s attacks thanks to the stellar goalkeeping of junior Braden Cochran.

But once the dam broke, the Magi couldn’t stop the flood of Patriots’ goals.

“(Cochran) did a tremendous job of getting us out of tough situations in the first half,” MHS head coach Creighton Bachmeier said. “But unfortunately we played a 60-minute game tonight as a team, and we needed all 80 minutes.”

The Magi had their fair share of chances to draw first blood, in particular an open look by Courage Amsbury in the 45th minute. The powerful strike erupted off the senior’s foot, sailing a good five feet over the crossbar.

The next opportunity came 10 minutes later when a missed ball by the Century back line fell into the lap of Zakory Wagner. The senior broke free from his defender and launched a shot from the left side that just barely missed the target.

“We came out with some fire in the second half and had some quality looks,” Bachmeier said. “You just have to tip your cap to Century for getting stops and doing what it needed to do.”

Century’s Nikko Helderop finally ended the dry spell in the 60th minute, banging home a strike from close range that Cochran couldn’t get to in time.

The following goal came five minutes later, as Helderop gathered a loose ball and headed it in for an easy score. Century found the back of the net another three times in the final 15 minutes as the Patriots finished the match strong for an emphatic 5-0 victory.

“We took that first punch in the mouth and our glass jaw just folded on us,” Bachmeier said. “It shows that we still have some work to do moving forward.”

The Magi finished the night with nine total shots (three on goal) compared to Century’s 27 (16 on goal). Despite the wide margin displayed on the scoreboard, Minot’s players are convinced that they aren’t too far behind a Patriots team that’s one of the better groups in the state.

“We just have to lift our heads up moving forward,” Amsbury said. “(Century) wasn’t five goals better than us, but we crumbled.”

Minot will have a chance to get back on track when they take on Jamestown on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. It’ll be a different atmosphere than the comforts of the Optimist Soccer Complex, as the Magi will battle the Blue Jays on the road.

After Tuesday’s disappointing performance, the match against Jamestown will show what the Magi can do with their backs against the wall.

“The best thing about high school athletics is that sometimes these guys do have a short memory,” Bachmeier said. “How you respond to nights like this is truly what makes you a competitor, and it’ll be a testament to see what they do (against Jamestown).”

Justin Martinez covers Minot High School and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.