Magi soccer falls 4-1 to Century in first game at Duane Carlson Stadium
Kam Foley didn’t wait long to make himself feel at home on the new turf.
Foley, a junior midfielder for the Minot High School boys soccer team, streaked down the middle of the field and found the back of the net in the first minute of Minot’s game against rival Bismarck Century.
“I was just hoping I got the ball,” Foley said. “I’ve missed a lot of shots this year. When I got the ball, I took a deep breath. I wanted to make that one badly.”
The contest was the first varsity soccer game played on the “Magic Carpet” turf at Duane Carlson Stadium.
“It’s always fun to be in competitive games,” Minot head coach Creighton Bachmeier said. “We had chances early. It was an opportunity that we struck early on, and it felt good.”
After an initial offensive lull, the Patriots exploded for a barrage of four goals near the end of the first half.
Junior defenseman Kenneth Brako struck first, and senior midfielder Jacob Schwarz followed with two additional goals.
Sophomore defenseman Schmidt Joseph scored the final goal for the Patriots, capping the four-goal streak in only eight and a half minutes.
“The biggest thing that we can learn from this is when you get a lead, can you keep your feet?” Bachmeier said. “Can you stay disciplined in the middle of the park, and then when you’re able to get possession of the ball, can you keep the ball? That’s what we struggled with tonight. When we tried to find our width, we gave it right back. It kept us under pressure, and eventually, they were able to get one, two, three and four.”
The second half was a stalemate, as neither team posted a goal.
With the loss, Minot moved to 3-6-2 (3-4-2 WDA). Century improved to 7-4-2 (6-2-2 WDA).
“If we go down by two, we can’t give them any inches,” Foley said. “We kind of slowed down a little bit after that second goal, and it killed us. In the second half, we were right with them the whole time.
Century posted 22 shots, 13 of which were on goal. Eight of Minot’s nine shots were on target.
Junior goalkeeper Ben Cleary made eight saves for the Patriots, while senior goalkeeper Braden Cochran tallied ten saves for the Magi.
“When we get the ball, we need to keep it,” Bachmeier said. “It’s the most precious thing on the field.”
Thursday evening marked Minot’s first home game after a stretch of six straight on the road. Minot will play their final three regular-season games at Duane Carlson Stadium.
The Magi will return to the “Magic Carpet” on Saturday, as they will host the Jamestown Blue Jays at 2 p.m. Century will travel to Williston on Saturday for another 2 p.m. contest.
“I’m so excited that we were able to finally play here,” Bachmeier said. “It’s nice to look across and see the maroon and gold and the lit-up ‘M.’ Not what we were hoping for, but these kids were gutty again tonight. At halftime, I told them to rise to the occasion to see if we could get back in this thing. They fought and clawed, and I’m really proud of this group so far.”
Jimmy Lafakis covers Minot High School sports and Class B high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @JJLII30.