Boys Soccer: Warriors get 3rd straight against Apollo
Brainerd hosts St. Cloud Apollo Tuesday, Sept. 28
For the second year in a row, the Brainerd Warriors and St. Cloud Apollo Eagles game finished before the clock hit zeros.
With 5:52 left, Apollo was hit with two red cards before the referee called the game with Brainerd leading 2-0. One referee said “we didn’t feel safe out there” after the game.
Nevertheless, it’s a 2-0 Central Lakes Conference victory for the Warriors, who scored two first-half goals, Tuesday, Sept. 28, at Adamson Field.
“Brainerd played a really good game and deserved to win,” Apollo head coach Chad Keller said. “I also think the kids deserve to finish the game.”
The Warriors have now won three in a row and four of their last five.
Almost four minutes in, Eli McConkey put Brainerd on the board with a goal as the Warriors took an early lead.
“I think it was a huge momentum shift,” McConkey said. “We just needed to get that spark going and to have that in the first few minutes, that was huge.”
“He’s getting stronger every day and every game,” Grausam said. “His foot skills are getting better. His confidence is getting better. He’s seeing the field a lot better and he’s figuring out the pace of the game.”
The Warriors missed a golden opportunity to go up 2-0 when an Adam Klecker shot hit the crossbar to keep it 1-0.
“We started out fast,” Grausam said. “To come out and have our first goal three and half minutes in, that’s how we’ve been starting the last couple of games. That helps the momentum going for us and keeps our confidence on offense.”
With 5:30 left in the first half, Cruz Megazzini drew a foul in the box which led to Klecker getting his 13th goal of the year on a PK to make it 2-0 Warriors.
“I think we finally started getting our offense going,” McConkey said. “We are all starting to put the ball on the net and it’s huge for us because we don’t have to rely on our defense.”
Brainerd’s defense still held Apollo scoreless with Kalvin Stengrim notching seven saves to keep a clean sheet.
“They played really well and have been all season,” Grausam said of the defense. “With Kalvin and the back three, they are communicating well and working together. It’s a plus to have those four back there.”
The Warriors will look to make it four in a row Thursday, Sept. 30, against St. Cloud Tech.
“We are still improving,” Grausam said. “We haven’t peaked yet. We still have a lot of things to work on and we will try to keep growing every game and every practice.”
St. Cloud Apollo 0 0 — 0
Brainerd 2 0 — 2
First half: Brd-Eli McConkey 36:38, Brd-Adam Klecker 5:30 PK
Shots on goal: Brd 5, SCA 7
Goalkeepers: Brd-Kalvin Stengrim (7 saves); SCA-Dylan Coulter (3 saves)
Warriors 2, Apollo 0
Key: Two first-half goals is enough for the Warriors
Conference: Brd 3-2-2, SCA 3-4.
Overall: Brd 6-4-2, SCA 6-5.
Next: Brainerd at St. Cloud Tech 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 30.
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or email@example.com. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.