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Chris Murphy, Published October 02 2012

Packers shut out Spuds 2-0

WEST FARGO – With West Fargo’s boys soccer team leading 1-0 over Moorhead with less than eight minutes remaining Tuesday night in West Fargo, Packers goalie Nathan Sample showed why the Packers were about to get their eighth shutout in their last nine games.

Moorhead’s Zach Holtgrewe flicked what seemed to be the perfect shot over Sample’s head. Sample jumped up, popped the ball to the side and, as it began to flow back toward the net, he had the presence of mind to dive at it and swat the ball away from the goal.

The game remained 1-0 and West Fargo would go on to win 2-0 to earn their eighth victory in the Packers’ last nine tries.

“I don’t know what happened on that,” Sample said. “I tipped it up and it was still going in, so I tipped it out. It was huge for momentum. Our defense is playing really well. We’re all talking and we’re just having fun. Hopefully we can take this momentum into state and take it to them.”

It took nearly 60 minutes for either team to score, but West Fargo (12-3-2) drew first blood when Zuheer Al Abase made three Moorhead defenders miss to get free, turned and blasted it top shelf into the right corner from 20 yards out to make it 1-0 with 20 minutes, 17 seconds remaining in the game.

“I just basically took a side-step, I had an opening and just ripped into the opening of the net,” Abase said. “It definitely got us going and playing better. It’s our home, so we always come out strong and hold our territory. “

With 3:20 remaining in the game, West Fargo forward Abdi Gedi sent a beautiful cross from left of the net that found the foot of Lucas Miller in the box and the back of the net to give the Packers a 2-0 cushion.

“I got a really good ball from Abdi Gedi,” Miller said. “It was perfect. I didn’t really have much to do with it. I was just there to finish it.”

After getting the first goal, the West Fargo defense would allow just three shots on goal in the final 20 minutes of the game, two of which were hauled in by Sample.

“We talked about the fact that we couldn’t just slide on these guys and that we owed Moorhead a good match,” West Fargo coach Doug Millar said. “Nathan (Sample) had an outstanding save, but there’s three gentlemen in front of him cleaning stuff up in my defenders. They have to get some of the credit. They clean up stuff for Nathan (Sample) and he cleans up stuff for them.”

The loss snapped a five-match winning streak for Moorhead (11-2-1) and handed the Spuds just their second loss on the season.

“We had some really good scoring chances in the first, but you have to put teams away,” Moorhead coach Lance Hansen said. “We didn’t finish when we were supposed to and good teams finish when they’re supposed to. It might be good going into sections to feel what it’s like to lose again.”

FIRST HALF: no scoring.

SECOND HALF: 1, WF, Abase 59:47. 2, WF, Miller 76:40.

SAVES: M, Swenson 1. WF, Sample 6.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548