Back-to-back West Region titles
Clutch play helps Majettes exorcise Demons 2-0
When it comes to West Region girls’ soccer this season, there are two tiers of high school teams: The Minot Majettes and everyone else.
On a winning streak of epic proportions, the Majettes entered the West Region girls’ soccer championship facing off against Bismarck High Demons in hopes of repeating as regional champs and entering the state tournament with a seemingly infinite amount of momentum as they battled for back-to-back state championships. Nevertheless, the Majettes quickly learned that the Demons were determined to go down swinging in a quest to tarnish the Cinderella season.
Seemingly invincible, Minot (13-0-0 overall, 12-0-0 West Region) entered the championship game having notched an early win in the regular season against the Bismarck.
In a home game taking place at the Duane Carlson field, the Majettes came away with a 3-1 victory. Across the whole of the regular season, the Majettes finished 11 points higher in the standings than Bismarck, thus easily capturing the regular season title.
Even more impressive, Minot had an otherworldly goals for-goals against ratio of 67-3, resulting in an average of 22 goals for the Majettes for every one goal by their opponents.
Not to be overshadowed by the firepower of their offense, players on the defensive side for Minot have essentially been an iron curtain, repelling almost every attack they have faced this year.
Coming in behind the Majettes in the West Region regular season standings, Bismarck (11-2-1 overall, 11-2-1 West Region) showed to be more than a formidable adversary throughout the course of the season.
In the same vein as the Majettes, the Demons overwhelmed many of their opponents with an attention-getting goals for-goals against ratio of their own at 51-11, scoring five goals of their own for every one goal by their opponent.
Riding a five-game winning streak, the Demons have managed to tally 23 goals while only allowing a miniscule two goals during that stretch, with four out of the five games during this period ending as shutouts.
Unfazed and fearless, Bismarck brought the fight to the Majettes straight out of the gate.
Minot’s defense faced a ravenous attack by the Demons, an uncharacteristic turn of events when compared to the common trend in many of the Majettes’ games throughout the season. Just three minutes into the game, the Demons orchestrated a great scoring opportunity via a cross and shot on goal that was thwarted by Minot’s senior goalie Madison Elliot. Four minutes later, the Demons continued the unrelenting pressure with a laser from over 18 yards out that blasted the cross bar before careening back in to play.
For the better part of the first half, the Demons were able to stay on the offensive. Senior and University of North Dakota commit Reece Vorackek put her dribbling skills on display in several instances, with one leading to a rocket on goal from over 20 yards out that narrowly missed the mark. However, throughout the Bismarck assault, the Majettes stellar defense stayed steadfast and managed to repel every threat that came their way.
Searching for the break they needed, Minot found life in the 32′ minute when sophomore Emerson Perrin capitalized on a deflection off a Demon’s defender inside the penalty box and put a ball on goal that found the back of the net, drawing first blood and putting the Majettes up 1-0.
Just four minutes later, Perrin once again made the most of a deflection inside the penalty box, this time off the Demon’s goal post resulting in her driving home her second unassisted goal of the game to put Minot up 2-0 heading into halftime.
Unlike the first half, the second half centered on physical play by both teams, neither ready to relent. Scoring opportunities by either team were held to a minimum, with the defenses of both the Demons and Majettes working overtime. However, unlike the first half, it was the Majettes that found their rhythm and managed to maintain field control throughout the bulk of the second half.
Battling until the very end, the Demons made a frenetic attack with two minutes remaining in the game that ultimately fell short, resulting in a 2-0 win for Minot.
With the victory, the Majettes clinched back-to-back West Region tournament championships, having already claimed a perfect regular season record and regular season title for the second year in a row. Minot now looks ahead to extending their reign as state champions and bringing home a second title in as many years.
Despite the loss, Bismarck also qualifies for the 2022 NDHSAA Girls’ Soccer State Tournament to be held at the Starion Sports Complex in Mandan beginning on June 2.