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David Griswold (Forum Communications Co.), Published June 06 2010

ND state soccer: South stakes 3rd place

JAMESTOWN, N.D. – For the first time in five years Fargo South’s final game at the state girls’ soccer tournament didn’t have championship implications. But despite the peculiar setting the Bruins still flourished.

The two-time defending state champions used two first-half goals to defeat East Region rival Fargo Shanley 2-1 Saturday at the Rotary Soccer Field in Jamestown and claim third place.

“It was a fun game,” said South coach Michael Breker. “It was played well by both sides.”

The Bruins (12-3-4) had to bounce back from their first state-tournament loss since 2007, when they lost to Bismarck Century in the championship.

“Third place makes us happy,” Breker said. “It’s better to end on a win. We would have liked to be in the championship, but it wasn’t our year.”

South, after losing to West Fargo 1-0 in the semifinals, broke a 118-minute scoreless skid with a goal in the 26th minute off the foot of junior Nicole Lindemoen.

South’s Laura Olson fed Jillian Stallman on the left side, who then hit Lindemoen on a cross for the goal.

Shanley goalkeeper Sammi Post nearly got a hand on the pass from Stallman to Lindemoen, but the ball was just out of reach, giving Lindemoen an open net to shoot at.

“It helps a lot,” said Olson of taking the early lead. “We’re not freaking out, we’re not all tense. We could just relax and try to get more goals.”

Olson found the back of the net less than 10 minutes later to give the Bruins a 2-0 lead going into the break.

“We struggled with our play a little bit (Friday), so coming out early and scoring two goals reminded us of what we’re capable of doing,” Breker said.

Haley Koehn fired a pass from the right side in front to Olson, who redirected the ball past Post for the score.

The late first-half goal proved to be the game winner as the Deacons bounced back in the second half with a score off a penalty kick in the 46th minute.

Shanley senior Taylor Hager rifled a shot to the upper-left corner to pull the Deacons to within one.

“One thing we’ve been working on the whole year is that when we’re down we would have to fight back and pick ourselves up,” said Shanley coach Kevin Roos. “That was good to see.”

The Deacons (10-9-1) had some chances down the stretch, but South keeper Alley Fischer held her ground and didn’t let another shot go by.

The junior goalkeeper finished with nine saves, while Post had five.

“I thought this was probably the best game we played all weekend,” said Roos. “I think we played great. We were really tired (Friday) but we came out strong today and fought through it.

FIRST HALF: 1, FS, Lindemoen (Stallman), 14:46. 2, FS, Olson (Koehn) 5:25.

SECOND HALF: 3, SHA, Hager, 34:57 (penalty kick).

SAVES: SHA, Post 5. FS, Fischer 9.

David Griswold is a writer for the Jamestown Sun.