Boys Soccer: Warriors come back to tie Moorhead Spuds
Down 2-0 20 minutes into the first half the Brainerd Warriors looked for answers.
They got them off the foot of Arthur Borowicz and Adam Klecker to tie the Moorhead Spuds 2-2 Saturday, Oct. 10, at Adamson Field in the season finale.
“Our team is just so mentally tough,” Warriors head coach Tom Grausam said. “We talk about resilience and grit and finding it. That’s what they did in the first half. It’s tough to come back from a 2-0 deficit, but they found their groove and were able to get two in to tie the game.”
The game featured two teams that hadn’t suffered a loss in 2020.
Moorhead started the scoring in less than two minutes of play when Saif Allawi scored at the 38:19 mark.
At the 20:20 mark, Moorhead’s Yousif Al Shihmani found the back of the net and the Warriors found themselves trailing 2-0.
Borowicz tallied the first goal for Brainerd at the 15:14 mark to pull the Warriors closer by one.
“It was important to us because we needed to get something,” Borowicz said. “We needed to put the pressure on them after being down 2-0.
“Everyone was watching the ball. The defenders were not really moving. Then I saw the ball and just went for it.”
Towards the end of the first half, Brainerd’s Jeremy Duff made a crossing pass to Klecker, who buried the ball in the back of the net to tie the score.
“It got our hopes back up,” Klecker said of his goal. “In the end we tied, but it got the momentum back and we started playing a lot better after that.
“Two or three defenders missed the ball and it went straight to me and all I was thinking was, ‘I better score this.’”
In the second half, both teams had chances to break the tie, but came up empty.
“Our team can compete with anybody,” Grausam said. “Moorhead is an excellent team and they were undefeated coming in. They believe in themselves and the coaching staff and they are just mentally tough and strong.”
Moorhead outshot the Warriors 13-12 with Warriors goalkeeper Brandon Neifert tallying 11 saves.
“I just had a talk with Brandon the other night and told him, ‘I have all my faith in you, I trust you and I wouldn’t have anyone else in there,’” Grausam said. “He’s a rock. Seeing him grow from a freshman to a senior now — unbelievable steps he has made. He’s mentally strong and believes in himself.”
Klecker said the Spuds were the best competition they have played this season and tying with them proved they can play with anyone.
“We came back from 2-0 and it gives us a lot of momentum going into sections,” Klecker said.
The Warriors end the regular season 8-0-2 and will host Osseo in the Section 8-2A quarterfinal Wednesday, Oct. 14.
“Having that momentum coming back from a 2-0 deficit is huge,” Grausam said. “Just got to keep practicing and not look past the first game. Anything can happen in sections.”
Moorhead 2 0 — 2
Brainerd 2 0 — 2
First half: M-Saif Allawi (Jibriel Gedo) 38:19, M-Yousif Al Shihmani (Mason Allen) 20:20, Brd-Arthur Borowicz 15:14, Brd-Adam Klecker (Jeremy Duff) 7:01
Shots on goal: Brd 12, M 13
Goalkeepers: Brd-Brandon Neifert (11 saves); M-Jacob Hendrickson (10 saves)
Warriors 2, Moorhead 2
Key: Warriors answer back to tie Moorhead after trailing 2-0.
Overall: Brd 8-0-2, M 9-0-1.
Next: Brainerd hosts Osseo TBA Wednesday, Oct. 14, in the Section 8-2A quarterfinals.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.