Four-goal first half carries Magi soccer over Mandan
Coming off a win Friday evening against Jamestown, the Minot High School boys soccer team doubled down with a second victory in back-to-back days with a 4-0 shutout win Saturday afternoon against Mandan.
The Magicians (8-3-1) used up all of their firepower right out of the gates with all four goals reaching the back of the net in the first half.
With the loss, Mandan dropped its fourth straight game and moved to 2-10-0 overall on the season.
“The work rate and the energy, especially on a back-to-back, was really, really good today,” MHS head coach Creighton Bachmeier said. “We kind of put the game to bed in the first half with our style of play. It was nice to get the younger guys in a varsity match — a majority of them get their minutes at the JV level. Because, once you get to the postseason, you never know who you are going to use.”
Minot was on the scoreboard less than three minutes into the contest. Senior forward Kameron Foley poached a rebound goal to get the Magi off and running.
“We have had leads in 11 out of our 12 matches,” Bachmeier said. “So, we have played with the lead a majority of the time. It’s exciting to see that type of soccer. But now the question is: Can you finish games?”
One of the key concerns heading into Saturday’s match was staying mentally and physically healthy after playing the night before.
“The thing that we told them is, ‘In order to compete at the state tournament, you got to play three games in three days,'” Bachmeier said. “This is the time of the year that we want to see what you are made of.”
Syrus Mayne had to show a little more muscle to score the second goal. The freshman forward powered pass his defender to force a one-on-one situation with Mandan goalkeeper Pacey Dosch.
Showing composure, Mayne slotted the ball around Dosch and then jumped over him to avoid a collision.
Dosch wasn’t as lucky later in the first half when he ran into Minot striker Xander Herrman trying to track down a ball in the box. Dosch walked off under his own power but was replaced in net by backup goalkeeper Will Mickelson.
Two first-half goals from Ezra Hagerott gave Minot a 4-0 lead at halftime. The first strike went off the post and in while the second was set up on a perfect through ball by senior midfielder Walter Markle.
“I have been doing that for a long time, so (the passes) kind of all blend together,” said Markle, unable to recall his assist to Hagerott. “I can give Ezra (Hagerott) a good ball, and he will do magical things with it. He is a really good player. He can finish those balls like it’s nothing.”
Also worth noting that Cameron Bolinske was inches away from curving in not one, but two free kick opportunities in the first half.
“I always want a free kick to go in,” Bolinske said. “But most goalies in the state are very good at setting up walls. It’s very hard to score free kicks now.”
Aiden Stewart was unlucky not to convert a powerful header off a corner kick as the ball smacked the post early into the second half.
Minot never found the fifth goal. The second half went scoreless.
“We didn’t finish our chances,” Bolinske said. “We had great chances, though. We just couldn’t put them away.”
Minot goalkeeper JJ Dufner didn’t have to make a save to record his seventh shutout of the season. The Magi outshot the Braves 23-2 (14-0 shots on target).
“It’s promising,” Bachmeier said about his defense. “The old adage is, ‘Defense wins championships.’ So, that’s what we are going to continue to try and push for.”
The Magi hit the road on Tuesday for a WDA clash against Williston. The contest is scheduled to start at 7:30 p.m.
Alex Eisen covers Minot State athletics, the Minot Minotauros and high school sports. Follow him on Twitter @AEisen13.