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Chris Murphy, Published October 10 2013

Moorhead boys withstand late surge from Rogers

MOORHEAD – There are no beauty points come playoff time. Moorhead was more than happy to take a 3-2 win over Rogers Thursday in the Minnesota Class 2A, Section 8 boys soccer playoffs.

“It wasn’t pretty, but in a section game you dig deep,” Moorhead coach Lance Hansen said. “It got way too exciting way too late. We knew that 1-0 wasn’t enough.”

It turns out that 3-0 almost wasn’t enough, as Moorhead held off a late surge to move on in the playoffs and send the No. 5-seeded Rogers (8-9) squad home with a finished season.

“We held them off the scoreboard in the last 20 minutes even though it wasn’t that beautiful,” Hansen said. “We’ll certainly take it.”

Noah Yak never imagined his penalty kick would prove to be the winner when he gave Moorhead a

3-0 lead less than five minutes into the second half, but it turned out to be.

“I thought for sure we’d score more goals,” Yak said. “We just worked hard and stayed calm.”

Moorhead was 22 minutes, 18 seconds away from moving on to the semifinals before Rogers started making the Spuds rethink their plans.

Isaac Aanerud’s header on an assist from Harding Ozanger cut the Moorhead lead to 3-1 and three minutes later Aanerud made it 3-2 on a blast from inside the box.

Both goals came minutes after a Royals goal off the foot of Cameron Ly was taken away when referees felt Moorhead goalkeeper Alex Schmidt had possession before the goal was punched in.

“It brought us down a little bit,” Moorhead forward Anthony Juven said. “We were up 3-0 and we thought we really had the game. It made us pick up our game and the defense did a great job holding the lead.”

The Moorhead defense did not allow another shot for Rogers the rest of the game.

Moorhead went up 1-0 when Zach Holtgrewe had the ball poked loose on a drive to the net and Juven was there to push it across.

“Holtgrewe got through everyone and the ball got poked away and I had the wide-open net right there and I poked it in,” Juven said. “When you’re playing seniors in high school, that it could be their last games, they’re going to put everything out there. You have to play 100 percent all the way through. We can’t give up no matter how big of a lead we have.”

Moorhead (11-3-3) got some luck a little more than two minutes into the second half when Justin Froslie’s free kick from about 25 yards out hit off a Rogers defender’s shin and into the net to make it 2-0.

“We don’t care how we score, we just need the ball to cross over that line and to get wins,” Hansen said. “We’re looking forward to any challenges.”

Moorhead will play Anoka on Saturday.

FIRST HALF: 1, M, Juven (Holtgrewe) 13:04.

SECOND HALF: 2, M, Froslie 2:11. 3, M, Yak 4:43 (PK). 4, R, Aanerud (Ozanger) 17:42. 5, R, Aanerud (Sareva) 20:46.

Saves: M, Schmidt 2. R, Rich 7.


Readers can reach Forum reporter

Chris Murphy at (701) 241-5548