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Chris Murphy, Published October 25 2012

Eastview tops Moorhead in Minnesota state boys soccer quarterfinals

ST. CLOUD, Minn. – Moorhead’s Ethan Olson collapsed to the ground and stared at the unforgiving turf of Husky Stadium, as the Minnesota Class 2A boys soccer quarterfinal matchup with Eastview had come to an end with the scoreboard showing a 2-0 victory for the No. 3-seeded Lightning.

Olson poured his face into his hand as time had run out in the game and on the season for the Spuds on Thursday at St. Cloud State University.

“That was a tough game,” senior midfielder Ben Herbst said with tears in his eyes. “That was honestly the best team I’ve ever played with in my life. We all worked our butts off, nobody gave up, nobody quit playing and everybody just worked.”

Moorhead finished with a 14-3-1 record and qualified for the state tournament for the first time since 2005, but a trip to the Metrodome fell just short for the Spuds.

“These guys just didn’t give up,” Moorhead coach Lance Hansen said. “They really worked hard for me every single day, and I was extremely proud of their effort all season. This team accomplished a lot for Moorhead. We wish we could have gone that one step further and gotten to the Metrodome. We finished the season well and with a lot of character.”

Exactly 12 minutes into the game, a throw directly into the box by Sam Fluegge found the head of a Moorhead defender and, before the ball landed, Michael Stockton blasted it into the open net five yards out to make it 1-0 Eastview.

About 14 minutes later, Pierce Erickson jumped a Moorhead pass 45 yards out and had nothing but green in front of him and a goalie to beat. Erickson sprinted to the box, and when Tanner Swenson committed, he tapped a shot low and to the right to make it 2-0 with 14 minutes, 35 seconds left in the first.

“We made one mistake, and good teams take advantage when you make one mistake,” Hansen said.

In the second half, Moorhead seemingly hit every area around the goal, but never found the net. With 13 minutes left, Olson blasted a free kick from 30 yards out that hit the crossbar and Carl Walker fired the rebound just wide to the left. Two minutes later, Olson was one-on-one with Eastview (13-2-5) goalkeeper Kyle Lamott. Olson fired to the right, but Lamott made a diving stop to keep the 2-0 cushion.

Last season’s state runner-up handed Moorhead just its third shutout of the season. It was only the third time the Spuds had less than two goals.

“We had chances and so did they, but they just had a little more heart it seemed like. They wanted it a little more,” senior midfielder Jake Leier said. “As a team, we got as far as we could, and we should be proud of that. I’m going to miss them, all the seniors and even the little freshman we have as a team manager. I’m going to miss them all. I hope we can continue this.”

FIRST HALF: 1, E, Stockton (Fluegge), 12:00. 2, E, Erickson, 25:25.

SECOND HALF: no scoring.

SAVES: M, Swenson 5. E, Lamott 6.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548