Gather 'round: Packers win
In sports, very few things are as nerveracking as soccer's penalty shootout. West Fargo and Bismarck learned that the hard way Thursday at Pepsi Soccer Complex. In overtime at the North Dakota state girls soccer tournament, West Fargo outlasted B...
In sports, very few things are as nerveracking as soccer's penalty shootout.
West Fargo and Bismarck learned that the hard way Thursday at Pepsi Soccer Complex.
In overtime at the North Dakota state girls soccer tournament, West Fargo outlasted Bismarck 2-1 (0-0 in regulation) on penalty kicks, marking the first time in tournament history that penalty kicks have decided pool-play games.
West Fargo, which had been struggling to move the ball downfield the entire game, ended up hoping for the penalty shootout.
"We weren't playing for the tie," Packers coach Jim Flores said. "(But) we played more defensively.
"We knew if we got into a shootout that we would win it."
West Fargo's Marin Rosenvold drove home the first penalty kick past a diving Summitt Schettler in the right corner. Bismarck's Betsy Olesen countered, tying the shootout with a shot over West Fargo keeper Kelsey Gatz' head.
But it was Kelsey Brand who knocked in the winner on West Fargo's third opportunity, a shot to the left corner. Bismarck missed its last four opportunities -- hitting the post twice and a diving Gatz the other two -- leaving four teary-eyed Bismarck players to walk the long stretch back to the center line.
"I picked my side and went for it either way," said Gatz, who was mobbed by teammates after she blocked the last shot. "You have to guess before it happens.
"It's a lot of pressure."
The shootout was in stark contrast to that of regulation time, when Bismarck was unable to take advantage of its numerous chances. The Demons shot 23 times, but Gatz stood in the way 22 times.
"It is certainly frustrating because we controlled the game," Bismarck coach Mel Fischer said, "but that's the way penalty kicks go."
West Fargo is shooting for its first placing at state. The team failed to get past pool play the past three years.
In other games, tournament favorite Fargo North beat Jamestown convincingly 4-0, scoring a goal within the first minute.
Bismarck St. Mary's rallied from a 1-0 deficit in the first half to beat Fargo South
3-2, and Bismarck Century beat Grand Forks Central 4-1.
Fargo North doesn't appear to be in awe of Bismarck Century, which has won the last two state tournaments. After Thursday's win, the Spartans were chanting "One down, three to go."
"Our team has gone through so much that we won't be happy unless we get to the final game," North coach Cordell Sinding said.
Steph Bartsch scored the goal of the day for Bismarck St. Mary's.
Bartsch ran unassisted from 40 yards out to South's box and weaved inside two defenders and fired a shot into the right side of the net.
"When she gets that close, it is pretty much in the net," St. Mary's coach Tim Mueller said.
"That's how I have scored most of my goals," Bartsch said. "That's what I love to do -- one on ones."
Pool play continues at 2 p.m. today with North taking on Bismarck and Jamestown facing West Fargo. At 4 p.m., Bismarck Century will play South while Grand Forks squares off against Bismarck St. Mary's.
Fargo North 4, Jamestown 0
FIRST HALF: 1, FN, Carissa Jahner (Megan Reberg) :55. 2, FN, Piper DeLaPointe 10:34.
SECOND HALF: 3, FN, Chelsey Smedrud (Jahner, Reberg) 56:30. 4, FN, Reberg (DeLaPointe) 79:35.
SAVES: FN, Row 6. J, Witthauer 9.
West Fargo 0, Bismarck Demons 0
West Fargo wins 2-1 on penalty kicks
SAVES: WF, Gatz 22. BD, Schettler.
PENALTY KICKS: WF, Rosenvold, Brand. BD, Olesen.
Bismarck St. Mary's 3, Fargo South 2
FIRST HALF: 1, FS, Adrianne Racek (Ashley Gray) 30:29.
SECOND HALF: 1, BSM, Kate Cichy 50:16. 2, BSM, Steph Bartsch, 3, BSM, Katie Dineen (Ashley Jangula). 2, FS, Racek (Amy Botnen) 77:41.
SAVES: FS, Anderson, 6. BSM, 5.
Bismarck Century 4, Grand Forks Central 1
FIRST HALF: 1, BC, Jessica Heintz (Sara Meyer) 1:09. 2, BC, Danae Backes (Chelsie Lipp, Lindsay Kirchoffner) 38:41.
SECOND HALF : 3, BC, Kellie Miller (Chelsie Miller) 60:51. 1, GFC, Jocylene Lamoureux 7:42. 4, BC, Haley Buck (Kelly Miller) 77:37.
SAVES: BC, 6. GFC, 11.
Readers can reach Forum reporter Michael Klinski at (701) 241-5549