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Tom Miller / Forum Communications Co., Published October 15 2010

ND state boys soccer tournament: Hager nets 2 goals in Deacon win

GRAND FORKS – If there’s a loose ball near Fargo Shanley forward Cam Hager, Deacons boys soccer coach Michael Breker has no doubt who’s coming away with possession.

“If a ball is by his feet, it’s (Cam’s),” Breker said. “It’s always his. He wins it every single time. Defensively, too, if he wants it, it’s his.”

There won’t be any arguing that from Bismarck St. Mary’s.

Hager scored two goals as Shanley remained undefeated by knocking off St. Mary’s 2-0 on Thursday afternoon in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota state tournament at South Middle School.

The Deacons, who improved to 17-0-3, will face West Fargo in a state semifinal at 3 p.m. today.

St. Mary’s, which dropped to 10-5-4, plays Bismarck High at 1 p.m. in a consolation semifinal.

Hager gave Shanley the lead at 25 minutes, 54 seconds of the opening half. From the right side of the field, senior forward Dan Jordan centered a pass in front for Hager, who corralled the pass at close range, turned and fired.

From there, the Deacons maintained possession and didn’t allow the Saints many good scoring opportunities.

“Possession sets us up offensively and it sets us up defensively,” Breker said. “It’s such a big part of our game. In the first half, we had too many touches, getting the ball taken off of our feet. We had to slow it down in the second half, make fewer touches and be patient.”

Hager, who scored his team-leading 17th goal of the season, extended the Deacons lead to 2-0 with a goal on an assist from Mike Dancer at 52:07.

St. Mary’s coach Brandon Keller was pleased with his team’s performance and complimentary of the Deacons.

“There’s a reason they’re undefeated this year,” Keller said. “Hats off to them. We weren’t confused by anything they were doing and it was nothing we did or didn’t do.”

Shanley had defeated the Saints 3-1 during the regular season.

The Deacons shut out their 11th opponent of the season as Ben Glogoza and Connor Dunn combined to make six saves.

Glogoza suffered an ankle injury in the first half, giving way to Dunn at halftime.

Breker said taking out Glogoza was precautionary. He said Glogoza will “absolutely” play today against West Fargo.

“We got those first-half jitters out of the way,” Hager said. “We should be good to go now the rest of the way.”

FIRST HALF – 1. FS, Cam Hager (Dan Jordan) 25:54

SECOND HALF – 2. FS, Hager (Mike Dancer) 52:07

GOALIE SAVES – FS: Ben Glogoza 2, Connor Dunn 4; BSM: Jordan Kenner 5.

Miller writes for The Grand Forks Herald