Defense sends North to state title
JAMESTOWN -- Fargo North's defense saved its best effort for the state tournament. The Spartans made it through without allowing a goal, capping a strong weekend with a 2-0 victory and a state championship over Bismarck High on Saturday at Rotary...
JAMESTOWN -- Fargo North's defense saved its best effort for the state tournament.
The Spartans made it through without allowing a goal, capping a strong weekend with a 2-0 victory and a state championship over Bismarck High on Saturday at Rotary Field.
"It's amazing what the defense did in this tournament," said sophomore Molly Sarafolean, who scored North's second goal. "Our goalies have been on top of it in this tournament. Without them, we wouldn't have done it."
It's the program's first title since 2006 and third overall, joining Bismarck Century and Fargo South as the only programs to have three girls soccer championships.
"We've always been thinking state championship," said Sarafolean, whose team entered as the No. 3 seed out of the East Region. "We always knew we were capable of it. We wanted to make sure everyone else knew we were capable, too."
Four of Fargo North's six losses this season came by a single goal, but that didn't deter the Spartans, who came a long way from allowing seven goals in their season opener to Fargo Davies.
"That was our first game, and we've worked to improve," said goalkeeper Jessica Goroski, who had two saves. "We kept taking steps forward and working at it because we knew this was our end goal."
Fargo North coach Michelle Crary said it wasn't just the defense that needed mending after the season opener. The Spartans lost 12 seniors off last year's team.
"Our entire team had a lot to learn throughout the season," Crary said. "We knew we would be very young. With just two seniors that could play, that alone speaks as to how hard these girls worked to be able to replace a senior class of 12."
For the second straight day, Fargo North got off to a quick start. Junior Kalli Baarstad connected after a pass from Lacie Johnson to put North on the board just 9 minutes into the match. Sarafolean added an insurance goal midway through the second half.
"We wanted to keep possession of the ball and not allow a lot of things toward our net," Crary said.
Bismarck made an equally impressive run to the state championship game as the 3-seed out of the West Region. However, scoring proved to be difficult, managing just one goal in the tournament. They won a shootout in the opener.
"It's always tough to go down (a goal) early," Bismarck coach Carly Feiler said. "I thought we had opportunities-we just couldn't finish them. It's been a wild ride. The girls enjoyed the ride and fought hard."
West Fargo 2, Bismarck St. Mary's 1 (OT)
Alison Enno nailed the game-winner from the left side in overtime to give the Packers a third-place finish.
The Packers battled back from a 1-0 deficit after halftime with a score from Emmalee Burtsfield, with an assist from Ashley Greenlund.
Britta Curl scored late in the first half for St. Mary's.
Davies 3, Shanley-OG 1
Fargo Davies junior Jennifer Marsh scored two goals and assisted on another as the Eagles claimed fifth place.
The scoring effort gives Marsh-a University of Colorado commit-30 goals on the season. Reiley Klose added a goal and an assist.
Shanley-Oak Grove's Kylie Kanwischer scored in the second half.
State soccer tournament
Fargo North 2, Bismarck High 0
First half: 1, FN, Kalli Baarstad (Lacie Johnson), 9th minute.
Second half: 2, FN, Molly Sarafolean (Abby Naseth), 56th minute.
Goalkeeper saves: FN, Jessica Goroski 0-2--2. B, Lauren Sayler 2-1--3.
West Fargo 2, Bismarck St. Mary's 1 (OT)
First half: 1, StM, Britta Curl (Cloey Miller), 36th minute.
Second half: 2, WF, Emmalee Burtsfield (Ashley Greenlund), 70th minute.
Overtime: 3, WF, Alison Enno (unassisted), 86th minute.
Goalkeeper saves: StM, Lindsey Schweitzer 3-1-0--4. WF, Madison Neva 2-0-0--2.
Fargo Davies 3, Fargo Shanley-Oak Grove 1
First half: 1, FD, Reiley Klose (Jenny Marsh), 8th minute.
Second half: 2, FD, Marsh (Klose), 48th minute. 3, FD, Marsh (unassisted), 55th minute. 4, S-OG, Kylie Kanwischer (unassisted), 59th minute.
Goalkeeper saves: S-OG, Megan Miranda 3-1--4. FD, Emery Gess 2-0--2.
Bismarck: Lauren Sayler, Brenna Berg, Madison Burgard, Madison Ferderer. Century: Kylee Welch. Fargo Davies: Mya Schwab, Jennifer Marsh. Fargo North: Carly Bosch, Jessica Goroski, Molly Sarafolean, Peighten Watson. Shanley-Oak Grove: Anna Triller. St. Mary's: Lindsey SChweitzer, Kaitlyn Wanner. West Fargo: Ivy Berogan, Alison Enno.
Senior athlete of the year: Taryn Love, Minot
Coach of the year: Matt Pfau, Minot