State boys soccer: Fargo Davies powers past Bismarck Legacy into semifinals

Unbeaten Fargo Davies believes its the best team in the state tournament and after Thursday's win it would be hard to argue with the Eagles.

JAMESTOWN, N.D. — Fargo Davies makes no bones that it believes it has the best team in the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament, and after Thursday's quarterfinal game against Bismarck Legacy it's hard to dispute them.

West No. 1 seed Minot was upset by No. 4-seed Fargo Shanley on Thursday so it became clear from the tournament's first game that anything could happen.

East No. 1 Davies wasn't having any of that. The Eagles scored late in the first half and then poured it on with three more in the second of a 4-0 win over Legacy.

"We've got the best team right now," said Eagles forward Savey Jones, who scored two goals. "We're unstoppable. Coach (Ian Costello) was telling us we've got to go hard, keep pushing and do what we can do. We came on the field and started doing our best."

Davies has reason for the confidence. The Eagles are 14-0-2 and sport a 45-10 goal differential this season. Of their victories, only five have been one-goal games.


Bismarck Legacy's Jacob Lelm, left, comes in contact with Rajveer Smith (14) of Fargo Davies as they eye the ball on Thursday at the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament in Jamestown. In the background is Legacy's Brady Hager. John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun

They've also got good motivations. Davies lost three straight state championship games from 2017 to 2019, then lost in the first round last season. All those games have helped create muscle memory.

"We've been with each other for awhile," Jones said. "We've been on the same club teams, we've got the same style. We understand each other."

Jones scored the game's first goal with 1 minute, 41 seconds left in the first half and forward Sam Saye drove in hard from the right side and scored 1:37 into the second half for a 2-0 lead.

Davies had a third goal erased on an illegal corner kick and had a breakaway stopped by Legacy goalkeeper Nathaniel Olheiser. Jones scored again with 25:54 left in the game and Rick Peng scored his first high school goal with 16:49 remaining.

Nathaniel Olheiser (1) goalkeeper for Bismarck Legacy makes a move to block an incoming ball kicked by Anil Gurung (3) of Fargo Davies at the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament on Thursday in Jamestown. John M. Steiner / The Jamestown Sun


"We knew they're quick and they're going to bring the ball in from the side," said Legacy coach Tom Marcis. "We tried to compensate and we did that the first 38 minutes or so. They're definitely the fastest team we've played all year. They play the possession style like we do but clearly they out-possessed us today."

The Davies offense was impressive, with 13 shots on goal, nine corner kicks and 10 direct kicks, but the Eagles were stout defensively, too. Bismarck had no corners and just one shot on goal.

"From the beginning it's been goal-oriented," Costello said, "and those goals that were set are pretty high. I've said it a few times, I've got guys that just have the mentality we're not going to lose.

"As a coach, it's still keeping them in check with the egos and make sure we're showing up and putting in the work. There was a little nervous energy at the beginning, but in the first 10 minutes we got it out of us and after that things got in the flow."

The Eagles don't intend for that to change in Friday's semifinals.

"We were planning on winning state," Jones said. "Making our way to state and bringing it home for the team and school. We're going to keep doing what we're doing, keep the good work up and take it back home."

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