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Eric Peterson, Published October 11 2012

Hager leads Deacons past St. Mary's at state soccer tournament

FARGO – Conrad Hager was a threat to score Thursday afternoon at Sid Cichy Stadium, even when he wasn’t close to the goal.

The Fargo Shanley junior scored a goal from 40 yards out in the second half to complete a hat trick. His performance sparked the Deacons to a 5-1 victory against Bismarck St. Mary’s in the first round of the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament.

“He let me know that it was a full 40,” Shanley head coach Michael Breker of Hager’s long-range score.

Shanley (15-1-1) has won 15 consecutive matches and has yet to lose to a North Dakota opponent this fall. Hager scored his first goal against the Saints less than two minutes into the match and added two more goals in the second half.

Hager has 24 goals this season.

“He’s an outstanding player,” St. Mary’s head coach Brandon Keller said. “He’s one of those players that as an opposing coach you almost feel helpless in a way.”

Hager credited senior midfielder Shane DuBord for setting up his third and final goal. DuBord fought through a pair of St. Mary’s defenders to get the ball to Hager in space in the middle of the field.

“We have this amazing midfielder named Shane,” Hager said. “It was all his goal.”

After settling the ball, Hager fired a shot on goal from 40 yards out that beat the goalkeeper in the upper corner of the net. That score gave the Deacons a 4-1 lead at 55 minutes, 54 seconds.

“With the wind all you have to do is play it low and rip it,” Hager said.

The Deacons scored two early goals in the first half against that brisk wind. Hager scored on a cross at 1:40. Senior midfielder Connor Dunn knocked in a header to give Shanley a 2-0 lead less than nine minutes into the match.

“I’m never going to say a bad thing about early goals,” Breker said.

“It was nice to put in a couple against the wind,” Hager added.

Hager scored his second goal of the match on a free kick from 25 yards out less than eight minutes into the second half to give Shanley a 3-0 lead. Deacons sophomore midfielder Nicholas Tschider scored on a penalty kick with less than three minutes in the match to close the scoring, giving his team a 5-1 lead.

“I think they scored every way possible,” Keller said.

FIRST HALF: 1, SH, Hager (Bruckbauer) 1:40. 2, SH, Dunn (Hager) 8:26.

SECOND HALF: 3, SH, Hager 47:27. 4, SM, Jordan (Martire) 51:31. 5, SH, Hager (DuBord) 55:54. 6, SH, Tschider 77:06 (pk).

SAVES: SM, Gilchrist 11. SH, Glogoza 13.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Eric Peterson at (701) 241-5513.

Peterson’s blog can be found at peterson.areavoices.com