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Chris Murphy, Published October 11 2012

Spuds cruise by Warriors 5-1

MOORHEAD – It’s that time of the year where records go out the window and the only numbers that matter are the ones remaining on the scoreboard when time expires.

Moorhead’s boys soccer team does enjoy being the No. 1 seed, but it really only means the Spuds have a target on their backs and they get to play at home.

“No matter what our number is, the bottom line is you have to win every game,” Moorhead coach Lance Hansen said. “Every game is a Game 7. It’s nice to be at home. We haven’t lost here in a couple years.”

Moorhead lived up to its No. 1 seed, cruising by No. 8 seed Brainerd 5-1 in the quarterfinals of the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 tournament Thursday in Moorhead. The Spuds looked like a completely different team than the one that squeaked by the Warriors in the regular season 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 8

“We were so pumped up,” Moorhead midfielder Carl Walker said. “We wanted to show that the last game against them was a fluke and never should have happened. We want to show teams that we are the No. 1 seed. It’s playoffs, so everyone wants to show themselves.”

Moorhead (12-2-1) didn’t waste much time to get on the scoreboard, scoring less than four minutes into the game when Walker found the back of the net thanks to a pass from Gabe Roach to make it 1-0. Eight minutes later, Adam Baker found Roach behind the defense and Roach’s shot slid past the line before Brainerd goalie Joseph Anderholm could yank it back to make it 2-0 Spuds.

“The overtime win versus them kind of helped us here because it made us realize that this was a big game and we couldn’t just overlook it,” Baker said. “We wanted to make a statement and score and not let up. We wanted to let other teams know that we were here to play with a big-scoring game, and I think we did. We just came out and played.”

Baker found Walker streaking behind the defense to make it 3-0 with 18 minutes remaining in the first half. Rather than going for the net on a corner kick, Baker went to Ethan Olson just outside the box. Olson blasted a shot into the back of the net to make it 4-0 with 11 minutes, 29 seconds left in the first half.

Nicholas Solheim cut the lead to 4-1 on a penalty kick, but Brainerd (2-13-2) would get no closer, only putting one shot on net in the first half.

Ben Herbst put a loose ball in front of the net into the net with 38 seconds left in the first half to give Moorhead a 5-1 lead, which held up, as neither team found the back of the net in the second half.

The Spuds will play at 1 p.m. Saturday in the semifinals.

FIRST HALF: 1, M, Walker (Roach), 3:13. 2, M, Roach (Baker), 11:32. 3, M, Walker (Baker), 21:52. 4, M, Olson (Baker), 28:31. 5, B, Solheim, 36:41, 6. M, Herbst, 39:22.

SECOND HALF: No scoring.

SAVES: M, Swenson 1. B, Anderholm 4.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548