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Published October 08 2010

Boys soccer: Deacons stay unbeaten

This isn’t the Fargo Shanley boys soccer team that won state two years ago.

This group might be better.

Shanley fought off a late surge by Moorhead on Thursday to pick up a 3-2 win, wrapping up the first undefeated season in school history.

It was also the first time Shanley, which is 16-0-3, finished first in the Eastern Dakota Conference.

Moorhead is 7-4-3 and has one game left against Bemidji before it enters the playoffs.

“It gives us tons of confidence,” said junior forward Cam Hager, who was a freshman when Shanley won state. “Our team gets along really well. It was amazing when we won state, hopefully we can do it again.”

Confidence has not been a question with Shanley this season.

It wasn’t even a question against Moorhead.

The only setback Shanley faced, Hager said, was a lack of effort in the second half.

Shanley scored two back-to-back goals within a minute span in the first half.

Hager said the two-goal cushion made it feel like Shanley was going to win.

Moorhead, however, didn’t see it that way.

“We got a little lazy after the way we played in the first half,” said Shanley coach Michael Breker. “And they made us pay for it.”

Moorhead cut the lead to 2-1 in the second half when Noah Julin scored off a Taylor Colby cross.

The goal easily provided motivation.

Some of that motivation went away after Moorhead was given four yellow cards in three minutes.

Two of those cards came when Moorhead’s wall wasn’t aligned to the referee’s liking.

The wall was not a factor for Hager, who ripped a free kick from 20 yards out padding the lead to 3-1 in the 59th minute.

“Never in the 41 years I have been in soccer have I ever seen something like kids being carded for the wall,” said Moorhead coach Lance Hansen. “It just felt like at times we were playing against more than Shanley.”

Five minutes after the goal, Julin was in the box and after he collided with Shanley keeper Connor Dunn, he scored on an open net.

The goal was called back much to the chagrin of Moorhead fans.

One fan asked the ref, “So, you can’t go for the ball now?”

The ref quipped, “Not like that you can’t.”

Moorhead eventually got its elusive goal in the 74th minute when Colby scored on a penalty kick for a 3-2 lead.

It proved to be too late with Shanley’s defense fighting off any last-minute attempts at goal.

Breker, who coached Shanley’s first title team, said there are no similarities between the two teams.

He said the group that won state were underdogs that had its two captains out for the postseason.

This group, however, after turning in a perfect season might be the favorites for state.

“It’ll be interesting to see what the brackets will look like,” Breker said. “We’re looking forward to it.”

FIRST HALF: 1. S, Dancer (Cam Hager) 26:31. 2 S, Christenson (DuBord) 27:44.

SECOND HALF: 3. M, Julin (Colby) 45:13. 4. S, Hager 66:50. 5. M, Colby 74:57

SAVES: M, Seaver 8; S, Glogoza 2, Dunn 2.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Ryan S. Clark at (701) 241-5548