JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Fargo Shanley’s impenetrable defense was again on full display Friday in the semifinals of the North Dakota girls state soccer tournament.
The undefeated Deacons held West Fargo Sheyenne off the scoreboard for a third time this season, enroute to topping the Mustangs 2-0 at Jamestown’s Rotary Field. The Deacons will play Fargo Davies or Minot in Saturday’s championship match at 3:30 p.m.
“It’s just a team effort,” said Shanley senior captain and center back Natalie Heinrich. “We come in and we know we have to want it more than they do, and we just have to push the whole time.”
Shanley’s season to this point has been an impressive one. The Deacons (14-0-2) opened the spring with eight consecutive shutout victories and have now outscored the opposition 52-2.
“We usually don’t let the ball get to our keeper,” said Shanley coach Lance Hansen. “It’s a pretty disciplined group and that’s why we have a lot of faith in them. I’m really proud of them.”
Abby Promersberger was the offensive star for Shanley. The sophomore slid behind the defense in the 39th minute to give the East Region champs a 1-0 lead just before the half.
“The effort was there, the performance was there,” said Sheyenne coach Jon Melendez. “The first goal a player slipped and (Promersberger) got through. She’s got a nose for the goal.”
Sheyenne topped Shanley 2-1 in overtime of last year’s state semifinals. The Mustangs and the Deacons played to a 1-0 Shanley victory and a scoreless draw in the regular season.
“We’ve had a big rivalry since last year, and every game we play it’s a great match,” Melendez said. “We played well, it’s just they got a little more luck than we did today.”
Promersberger iced the cake in the 80th, booting home her third goal of the tournament with 6 seconds remaining on the game clock. Promersberger accounted for the tournament’s first tally in Thursday’s 5-0 quarterfinal victory over Jamestown.
An all-state hockey player, Promersberger also led Fargo North/South/Shanley girls hockey to 22 victories with 28 goals and 49 total points last winter.
“She’s feisty,” Hansen said. “She gets in and is able to do that. She was phenomenal today.”
Shanley is 1-3 in girls soccer state title matches, last falling to Fargo Davies in the championship game in 2017. The program won a state title in 2012.
“We’ll continue to play good defense, but I think our execution can get better,” Hansen said. “We need to finish some of those opportunities we had right in the middle.”
FIRST HALF: 1. F, Abby Promersberger (Mia Metzger), 39th minute.
SECOND HALF: 2. F, Promersberger (unassisted), 80th.
SAVES: F, Molly Metzger 4. W, Shelby Weber 12.