Wind steals the show on Day 2

GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- For each of Friday's games at the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament, the wind gave one team an unseen 12th player on the field.


GRAND FORKS, N.D. -- For each of Friday's games at the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament, the wind gave one team an unseen 12th player on the field.

A constant wind of 30 to 40 miles per hour blowing towards the south goal was accompanied by temperatures in the 30s and on-and-off drizzle. The results: an upset of one of the state's two undefeated teams heading into the tournament, and six out of eight teams vying for two spots in today's championship game.

Pool play wraps up this morning, and only Bismarck Century and West Fargo are mathematically eliminated from a berth in the afternoon third place or championship game.

Grand Forks Red River and Minot have gone 2-0 over their first two games in the tournament and are leading their respective pools. Four other teams are sitting at 1-1 and need help to advance to the state title game.

Fargo South is one the four at 1-1 after upsetting the West Region's top seed and previously undefeated St. Mary's. Adam Kotchian's three goals lead the Bruins to a 5-2 victory.


With the wind at his back, Kotchian scored his first 8:57 into the game.

Just 1:04, later he took a through ball from Justin Foss made it 2-0 South.

"I turned around and kicked it at the top of the box, and it went by the goalie," Kotchian said of his first goal. "This is a huge game to win."

South stretched its lead to 4-0 in the first 10 minutes of the second half. St. Mary's Nathan Kuntz and Cam Christensen scored goals less than two minutes apart to close the Bruins' lead to 4-2 with 8:03 remaining.

Kotchian put the game away and completed his hat trick. He chased down the ensuing kickoff downfield and shot the ball past St. Mary's goalkeeper Scott Crawford.

"I said just kick it and I ran downfield hard," Kotchian said after he noticed the Saints' defense had pushed up close to midfield.

After Thursday's 2-1 loss to Minot, South coach Dean Hashbarger was happy with the way his team bounced back against St. Mary's.

"This was the type of game we are capable of playing," he said.


FIRST HALF: 1, FS, Kotchian 8:53. 2, FS, Kotchian (Foss) 10:01.

SECOND HALF: 3, FS, Foss (Peterson, Kotchian) 58:37. 4, FS, Own goal 59:41; 5, SM, Kuntz 69:20. 6. SM, Christensen (PK) 71:47. 7, FS, Kotchian 71:58.

SAVES: FS, Eriksmoen 7. SM, Keller 7, Crawford 0.

Brandon Hellevang's golden goal in the second overtime lifted Fargo North past Century.

Joe Wonderlich put a free kick into the box from near midfield. After it bounced off a few players, Hellevang nailed it past Century goalkeeper Chris Levorsen from six yards out for his second goal of the game.

"Andrew Biewer got a head on it, and I saw it slip out of the keeper's (Levorsen) hands and I walked through it and slipped it in," Hellevang said.

Spartan goalkeeper Joe Solberg made 11 saves, including several game-saving stops in the first overtime.

North head coach Casey Tidd said he wasn't sure if Solberg was going to play heading into the tournament.


"He said I'm ready to go if you want me to go," Tidd said of Solberg who recently suffered a cut finger. "I was ready to put him in."

A win over East Region top-seed Grand Forks Red River this morning could put the Spartans in the championship game.

"We need to play the game we know we can and just be smart," Tidd said of the Roughriders, who Fargo North has tied and lost to so far this season.

FIRST HALF: 1, FN, Hellevang (Klenow) 10:00. 2, BC, Dorfschmidt (PK) 25:00.

SECOND HALF: No Scoring.

OVERTIME: 3, FN, Hellevang (Biewer) 3:57.

SAVES: FN, Solberg 11. BC, Levorsen 2.

Sam Lee's goal with two seconds left in the first half put Minot ahead for good in a win over West Fargo.

The sophomore forward took a pass from Alex Hjertstedt and put the ball in the net to close the first half in which Minot outscored West Fargo with the wind at its back.

"That was the key to the game," Minot coach Matt Pfau said. "I don't think anyone thought we'd be 2-0."

Joe Jackson put Minot ahead early, but Gerrit Haeter scored the equalizer for West Fargo in the 21st minute.

The Packers had the wind at their back in the second half, but could not put the ball in the net.

"We just took ourselves out of the game," West Fargo assistant coach Dave Stahlecker said.

"We had the confidence to come back. We just had to play hard."

FIRST HALF: 1, M, Jackson (Pineiro) 18:18. 2, WF, Haerter (Vllahiu) 24:27. 3, M, Lee (Hjertstedt) 39:58.

SECOND HALF: No scoring.

SAVES: M, Love 11. WF, Teets 0.

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