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Chris Murphy, Published September 07 2013

Moorhead boys soccer moves to 5-0 on the season with win over Brainerd

MOORHEAD – Moorhead’s Zach Holtgrewe picks the perfect time to miss penalty shots

“In practice, I take penalty kicks and I miss every time,” Holtgrewe said. “When it comes to the game, I just focus and I realize that I’m going to score. I know the goalie is scared of me and I know that I’m going to put it in the net. And that’s what I do every time.”

That’s what he did Saturday at Horizon Middle School in Moorhead’s 2-1 win over Brainerd, which pushed the Spuds’ record to 5-0 on the season. Sixty-two seconds into the second half, Holtgrewe was taken down in the box and, with the score tied 1-1, he fired top shelf into the right corner to give the Spuds a lead they would never relinquish.

“I was just impressed with the way our guys fought through, even though we were down for awhile,” Moorhead coach Lance Hansen said. “I’m really excited to see us battle through adversity. There’s a self-belief that you have if you continue to fight through adversity that you have the expectations that good things are going to happen.”

Outside of the first minute of the opening match, when Moorhead trailed St. Michael-Albertville 1-0, the Spuds haven’t faced much adversity. That’s due in large part to Spud defenders Jordan Hartjen, Ethan Olson, Grant Weiss and Will Borgen, which had not given up a goal since the one against St. Michael-Albertville coming into Saturday’s match.

“Our D-line is great,” Holtgrewe said. “It’s all the same guys from last year. They are the quickest dudes on our team and they dominate just like last year. We went to state with those guys last year and hopefully we go to state with them again.”

Saturday, Moorhead got plenty of adversity. Just before the midway point of the first half, the Spuds got a goal taken away on an offsides call. Less than five minutes later, Brainerd’s Cory Tellefsrud put the Spuds behind for just the second time this season. The Spuds answered with less than five minutes to go in the half when Justin Froslie deflected a ball off a Brainerd defender and tied the game.

Speaking of his team’s solid beginning to its season, Froslie said “(5-0) is a good start.” “We’re looking forward to playing more teams in the section.”

After Holtgrewe put Moorhead up 2-1 early in the second half, the rest was history. The Spuds defense allowed one shot toward the net that goalie Alex Schmidt didn’t even need to make a play on the rest of the way.

“We were down and we realized it was a section game and it was one of the biggest games of the year,” Holtgrewe said. “We were kind of playing down to their level. Luckily, we got that first goal right before the half that gave us a lot of momentum and after the second goal, we just dominated the rest of the game.”

After three straight shutouts for Moorhead, Hansen was happy to see the Spuds overcome early struggles.

“After the letdown of the offside call, it was hard for us mentally to come back,” Hansen said. “We weren’t able to finish like we’d like. But our guys fought through even though there was some minutes that passed where we didn’t get on the board.”

FIRST HALF: 1, B, Tollefsrud (Wasniewski), 23:03. 2, M, Froslie, 35:17. SECOND HALF: 3, M, Holtgrewe, PK, 1:04. SAVES: B, Anderholm 5. M, Schmidt 2.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548