Davies reaches state soccer semifinals for first time
JAMESTOWN, N.D.—Looking for the program's first trip to the North Dakota state soccer semifinals, Fargo Davies coach Ian Costello wasn't concerned with his team allowing a goal inside the opening three minutes on Thursday night.
"I think I got the guys a little too jacked up," he said. "They were pretty hyped up."
The Eagles settled down quickly, scoring the next four goals and taking down Minot 4-2 in quarterfinal action at Rotary Field. The win sets up a rubber match with West Fargo in today's 6:45 p.m. semifinal.
"We've got to have some resilience and play with the same fire that we did (against Minot)," senior defenseman Mason Brekke said.
From his center-back position, Brekke led a defense that locked down Minot after JJ Johannsen gave the Magicians a 1-0 lead 2 minutes, 3 seconds in. Minot didn't score again until Evan Bolinske's goal with 1:32 to play.
"We just came out with more fire, started playing better and passing it into the midfield," Brekke said. "We got it going right away (after the first goal)."
Costello said it's no surprise the defense took over and held Minot out for more than 76 minutes.
"Our defense has been the backbone for us the whole season," Costello said. "We wanted to slow the game down, connect on some passes and create some stuff. That's when I think the momentum switched, and we really started to dominate."
Davies keeper Hunter Maloy earned eight saves in the win, which saw four different Eagles tally a goal. Pablo Nunez Perez found the net before halftime to tie the match, and Casey Haldis and Mohamed Ahmed each scored off keeper deflections in the box in the second half. Jack Olson capped Davies' effort, also scoring in the second half.
"Every team has one or two guys that lead, and you need those guys, but this has been a team mentality from day one," Costello said. "We've got a group of 22 guys that have bought in, and we're unstoppable if we play as one."
FIRST HALF: 1, M, JJ Johannsen (unassisted), 2:03. 2, FD, Pablo Nunez Perez (unassisted), 14:33.
SECOND HALF: 3, FD, Casey Haldis (unassisted), 47:37. 4, FD, Mohamed Ahmed (unassisted), 52:15. 5, FD, Jack Olson (unassisted), 64:24. 6, M, Evan Bolinske (unassisted), 78:28.
SAVES: FD, Hunter Maloy 3-5—8. M, Jaden Francis 7-1—8, Johnathan Thomas x-4—4.