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Tom Mix, Published September 19 2013

West Fargo tops Fargo North in EDC boys soccer

WEST FARGO – Zuheer Al Abase is branching out when it comes to his kicking abilities.

The senior midfielder has been a mainstay on the West Fargo boys soccer team the last three seasons, but today he will trade his shin guards in for football pads.

Al Abase joined the Packers football team this week in time to make his first appearance at kicker when West Fargo hosts Grand Forks Central at 6 p.m.

On Thursday night, Al Abase scored the game-winning goal in West Fargo’s

1-0 Eastern Dakota Conference victory over Fargo North.

“I saw the opportunity open up at the net,” Al Abase said. “We needed to get one in.”

The goal came 52 minutes, 50 seconds into the match. Al Abase booted the ball with his left foot from outside of the box.

“We have been waiting for him to get one of those goals this year,” West Fargo head coach James Moe said. “He is capable of putting those 25-yard shots in. He pulled it to his left foot and it was just a beautiful shot.”

Kicks like those will come in handy when Al Abase handles the Packers’ field goals, extra points and kickoffs.

“I’m really excited,” Al Abase said of playing football. “The coaches convinced me to join the team. I’m going to make my debut as a football kicker at the homecoming game. I always wanted to try football. I know a lot of the players and I thought I would be a good asset to the team.

“It is my senior year,” Al Abase added. “I’m trying to connect with as many people as possible and have a memorable year.”

West Fargo (11-3-0, 7-2-0 EDC) put 21 shots on North goalkeeper Nathan Potts, who finished with 20 saves.

North head coach Jon Melendez said Potts had a standout night in goal for the Spartans.

“It was a good battle,” Melendez said. “We knew what West Fargo was going to present. We knew Zuheer was going to be a threat to score. We gave him enough time to take that shot, it left his foot and it got behind our goalkeeper, which was unfortunate.”

North (4-6-5, 2-4-2) had a shot hit the cross bar with 18 minutes left to play.

FIRST HALF: No scoring.

SECOND HALF: 1, WF, Al Abase, 52:50.

SAVES: FN, Potts 10-10–20. WF, Sample 3-2–5.

Readers can reach Forum reporter

Tom Mix at (701) 241-5562