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Down to the wire: Unbeaten Pats score late goal to beat JHS

Jamestown freshman Emily Reiten protects the ball against Bismarck Century’s Joanna Jensen during their West Region soccer match Tuesday at Rotary Field. The undefeated Patriots scored late for a 2-1 victory. John M. Steiner / The Sun

With 5 minutes remaining in Tuesday’s match at Rotary Field, Bismarck Century found itself in a dogfight against an unlikely opponent.

Atop the West Region and undefeated at 10-0 with eight shutouts, Century needed Taryn Neameyer’s corner kick to bounce in with around 4 1/2 minutes to escape Jamestown with a 2-1 West Region victory.

“Jamestown came with a great game plan and they executed it very well,” assistant coach David Widdison said. “They could make state doing this.”

The Blue Jays, tied with Mandan for fifth out of six teams in the West Region with one point, played defense like a contender, deflecting balls at every turn and creating havoc with Century’s offense.

“We were solid in our game plan,” Jamestown coach Michael Schulz said. “We played disciplined. The two goals we gave up were an ability to clear out a corner kick. The rest of the open-field play, we handled them well, I felt.”

Early on, it looked like Century was poised to break away in typical fashion. Lily Obrigewitch scored her sixth goal of the season less than 3 minutes into the match.

But Jamestown settled down, and when an opportunity arose to tie the game, the Blue Jays seized it.

Freshman Maggie Ridley lobbed a free kick overtop of Century’s players, and freshman Emily Reiten ran under it, drilling it past Century keeper Amanda Leintz to tie the match just before halftime. Leintz had one save in the win.

“A goal against Century is always good,” Reiten said with a big smile. “I ran behind the girls and kicked it over the goalie. It was awesome.”

Said Schulz: “With the formation we were playing today, that was really where we were gonna get our goals — from set plays. Those were the goals we were hoping for and we got one.”

Jamestown’s offense went the conservative rout the rest of the way, never venturing too far past midfield.

 Still, the Blue Jays scrapped and fought, holding the Patriots scoreless for most of the second half — until Neameyer’s corner kick found its way past Jamestown keeper Haley Hillstrom, who couldn’t find the ball in time due to heavy traffic. Hillstrom was a busy Blue Jay, stopping 20 shots.

Both coaches said it was a far cry from the 8-0 thrashing the Patriots dealt to Jamestown earlier this season in Bismarck.

“The difference is like night and day from the last time we played them,” Widdison said. “Got to give credit to Jamestown. Their girls played really hard and made it difficult for us.”

There isn’t a West Region tournament in girls soccer, so teams have to qualify by regular-season standings. Jamestown needs, at minimum, two wins and some help if it were to entertain making the state tournament. It has four conference games remaining this season.

The next action for the Blue Jays is Thursday, when they visit Bismarck St. Mary’s.

Bismarck Century 2, Jamestown 1

First half: 1, BC, Lily Obrigewitch (unassisted), 3rd minute. 2, J, Emily Reiten (Maggie Ridley), 38th minute.

Second half: 3, BC, Taryn Neameyer (unassisted), 75th minute.

Goalkeeper saves: BC, Amanda Leintz 1. J, Haley Hillstrom 20.

Sun sportswriter Chris Aarhus can be reached at (701) 952-8462 or