Braves hand Majettes soccer first loss of the season, 1-0
All it took was one.
The Minot High School girls soccer team came out as expected in its game against Mandan at the Optimist Soccer Complex. Just like the rest of the Majettes’ matches this season, a pack of maroon-and-gold jerseys swarmed the opposition’s side of the field and recorded a number of shots on goal.
But this game was different, as Mandan goalie Olivia Geiger foiled every early attack to keep Minot off the board. Now, 21 minutes into the contest, the Braves’ offense finally got its first shot on goal and made it count.
Elizabeth Geiger did the honors with a shot off a penalty kick that went soaring in the direction of Minot goalie Emme Miller. Before the freshman could react, the ball zipped past her and rested in the back of the net to give Mandan a 1-0 edge.
That lone score proved to be all the Braves (5-2-1, 4-1-0 West Region) needed, as they shut out the Majettes (5-1-1, 5-1-1 West Region) for a 1-0 win. The loss marks Minot’s first of the season.
“I think we controlled the ball a lot, but we just never finished how we wanted to,” junior Brooklyn Casey said. “The first half was kind of groggy, I guess you could say…We kind of got a little overconfident in ourselves since we were undefeated. We just need to take this as a lesson to go 100 percent every single time.”
Minot gave Mandan a number of scares in the second half.
The first came courtesy of Casey, who chased down a breakaway ball on the right side of the penalty box at the 28-minute mark. Once she gathered it, the junior sent a rolling shot across her body in an effort to find the bottom-left pocket of the net.
The ball appeared to be well on its way to hitting its mark, but Olivia Geiger quickly dove and made the miraculous save to preserve her team’s 1-0 lead.
Allison Lepp took a crack at the goalie five minutes later.
After personally recording five shots on goal to no avail in the first half, the senior got another quality look with 23 minutes remaining in the contest. Lepp lined up for a free kick about 25 yards away and took her shot only to see the ball sail over the net and out of bounds.
“We possessed the ball and had two or three really quality chances to tie the game, but it just didn’t happen,” MHS head coach Matt Pfau said. “(Olivia Geiger) played really well tonight. It was a good game on her part.”
The Majettes kept at it until the final minute as they desperately tried to score with an all-out blitz. But Mandan’s Alonna Allickson delivered the nail in the coffin with 10 seconds left by stealing the ball and promptly kicking it downfield. Time expired, and the Braves escaped with the 1-0 victory.
Minot finished with 13 shots on goal to Mandan’s three. Miller finished with two saves in the losing effort, while Olivia Geiger recorded 13 saves in the win.
“Sometimes soccer can be a cruel sport,” Pfau said. “Even when you outshoot the other team, they can get a PK and you lose. It’s just one of those things…You can’t have that one lapse.”
Minot will try to get back in the win column on Tuesday when it hits the road to face Bismarck St. Mary’s at 8 p.m.
Justin Martinez covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JTheSportsDude.