The Fargo Shanley soccer team did what every team in the West Region wanted to do during the regular season Thursday afternoon.
"We just came in and played our game and it was successful," Shanley head coach Ryan Christianson said. "We knew Minot was a tough team but we also knew that we have the players and the talent to go farther in the tournament."
Christianson and the fourth-seeded Deacons defeated top-seeded Minot, in quarterfinal No. 1 of the 2021 Class A State Soccer Tournament 1-0 at Jamestown High School's Rotary Field.
Shanley will face EDC rival, Grand Forks Red River in the semifinals Friday at 4:30 p.m. Minot will match up against Bismarck Century at noon Friday.
Coming into the quarterfinal, Minot had only trailed for 70 minutes of the 1280 minutes played. The Magicians' only loss of the regular season came against Bismarck High on Sept. 21. Bismarck Legacy, the West's No. 4 seed in the state tourney, held the Magicians to a scoreless draw on Sept. 9. Minot ended the regular season at 15-1-1 overall and 12-1-1 in WDA play.
Minot has been represented at every state tournament since 2010. The Magicians' lone state title came in 2006 with a 2-1 in over Grand Forks Central
Fargo Shanley was on a very different end of the spectrum from the Magicians this season. Shanley entered the state tourney sub .500 at 5-7-4 overall.
"They are well-coached and they have kids with a tremendous work rate," Minot head coach Creighton Bachmeier said of the Deacons. "Soccer is a crazy sport where that winning and losing line is very, very fine. They got the decision today."
Shanley controlled the pace of play for most of the opening half, only allowing one shot on goal by the Magicians, who throughout their 17 previous matches, had outscored competition 36-8.
Ian Haggerot got the Magicians' first chance, running upfield and distributing to his left for Manasseh Boakye. Cole Jaeger came in sliding to steal away the ball from Boakye to keep the game at goose eggs.
While the Minot defense crowded the box to keep it scoreless, a costly miscommunication left J.J. Dufner to fend for himself.
Shanley's Gabe Noah went 1-on-1 with Dufner but the junior goalkeeper's athleticism won the battle. Dufner batted down the ball and then cleared the ball to keep it scoreless.
"J.J. played one of his best games all year and we needed him to," Bachmeier said. "We just didn't do enough early on to set the tone for the full 80 minutes.
Dufner's mental and physical game let up for just a hair too long with 16 minutes left in the first
A tripping penalty assessed to Minot, brought up a Shanley penalty kick by Landon Odden. Odden beat Dufner to the lower-left corner to break the ice. Dufner made two of his five saves in the first half.
"I've taken PKs almost every single year so there's no pressure, I am just kind of used to it," Odden said. "Once I saw it in the net I was like, OK onto the next play."
Prior to the match, Christianson said, that in order to get a win, his squad would have to maintain intensity and shut down Minot's Ezra Hagerott. Hagerott, a senior midfielder, was tied for the West Region scoring title with eight goals and seven assists. The Deacons held the senior to two shots on goal.
All told, the Magicians were only able to put four balls on target.
"I credit our whole defense, they played great," Odden said. "It feels great knocking off the No. 1 seed but now it's on to the next round."
For more coverage of the 2021 Class A State Soccer Tournament, please visit www.jamestownsun.com.
Fargo Shanley 1, Minot 0
FS 1 0 -- 1
MIN 0 0 -- 0
1. FS, Landon Odden, (penalty kick), 24th minute.
Shots on goal: Shanley 6; Minot 4
Saves: Shanley, Cole Jaeger, 4; Minot, J.J. Dufner, 5