Packers stun South
West Fargo's encore was even better than its opening act. A day after routing Western Dakota Association top-seed Bismarck Century, the Packers slipped past two-time defending champion Fargo South 1-0 to reach the finals of the state girls soccer...
West Fargo's encore was even better than its opening act.
A day after routing Western Dakota Association top-seed Bismarck Century, the Packers slipped past two-time defending champion Fargo South 1-0 to reach the finals of the state girls soccer tournament for the first time in school history on Friday at Hillcrest Soccer Complex.
West Fargo will play Minot at 3:30 p.m. today at Rotary Field.
"It's big for our program," said Packers coach Jonathan Melendez, whose team qualified for state as a No. 4 seed after a three-year absence from the tourney. "... South is a great team. They battled all the way until the end. I guess we outplayed them.
"The soccer gods were on our side this time."
West Fargo junior forward Andrea Muller followed an eye-popping four goal, one assist performance against Century with the game-winner against South.
Muller fought off of a pair of Bruins defenders for the ball before outrunning everyone to the net.
With a one-on-one opportunity in front of her, Muller riffled a shot past South goalkeeper Alley Fisher in the 78th minute to give the Packers a 1-0 advantage.
"I knew Andrea was going to score today," Melendez said. "I don't know, it's one of those coaching things. I told the girls she was going to score in the second half - and she did."
Muller was a little less confident.
"I was really nervous," Muller said. "Usually when we play them we always lose to them with about three minutes left. Now it happened for us today and we won."
The Bruins earned a pair of 1-0 victories against the Packers during the regular season. Muller said her team had never beaten South.
South's streak of state championship game appearances ends at four.
The Bruins just missed a chance to take the lead when Packers keeper Melissa Halda turned away a point-blank shot that came within inches of crossing the goal line about 10 minutes into the game.
Halda finished with 11 saves.
West Fargo made the most of its offensive chances, scoring on one of five shots on goal.
The Packers have finished no higher than fourth place in eight previous trips to state.
"We could have played better," South coach Michael Breker said. "... Take nothing from (West Fargo). They worked their butts off. They came out intense and we couldn't match their intensity the whole game."
St. Mary's 2, Century 1
Senior midfielder Brooke Christensen scored on a penalty kick in the 68th minute to lead the Saints to a win against the top-seeded Patriots in the consolation semifinals.
St. Mary's took a 1-0 advantage on a goal by Alyssa Kopp in the 18th minute.
Century knotted the game at 1-1 about three minutes later with a Kelsey Glatt goal.
St. Mary's will play Fargo North or Bismarck for fifth place at 11:30 a.m. today at Jamestown High School Rotary Field.
State Soccer Tournament
At Hillcrest Soccer Complex
West Fargo 1, Fargo South 0
1, WF, Andrea Muller (unassisted), 78th minute.
Goalkeeper saves: West Fargo, Melissa Halda 11. Alley Fisher 4.
Records: West Fargo 9-4-6; Fargo South 11-3-4.
Bismarck St. Mary's 2, Bismarck Century 1
1, BSM, Alyssa Kopp (Lily Obregewitch), 18th minute. 2, BC, Kelsey Glatt (Jessica Hansen, Kristina Steckler), Time not available.
3, BSM, Brooke Christensen (pk), 68th.
Goalkeeper saves: Bismarck Century, Caja Sipes 5. Bismarck St. Mary's, Nicole Moen 12.
Records: Bismarck St. Mary's 6-6-4; Bismarck Century 11-3-3.
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