Boys Soccer: Warriors shutout Otters in home opener
Midfielder Adam Klecker tallied a goal and an assist for the Brainerd Warriors in their 3-0 win over the Fergus Falls Otters Tuesday, Aug. 27, at Adamson Field.
“It was really nice to win,” Klecker said. “It was super tiring, but it was good to get the shutout.”
The game marked the first Warrior home contest since Feb 24, when Brainerd boys basketball hosted Bemidji.
Twelve minutes in, Otters’ defenseman Logen Schake got hit with a yellow card in the box awarding the Warriors a penalty kick.
Klecker capitalized on the PK to give the Warriors an early lead.
“It was a little nerve wracking when I was taking it,” Klecker said of the PK. “But once I scored, it was really nice and it was really fun to score first.”
The Warriors dominated time of possession and launched 16 shots on goal. Brainerd goalkeeper Brandon Neifert recorded the shutout.
“I loved their work ethic right from the get-go and keeping the intensity up,” assistant coach Chad Morlock said. “They put in the hard work for the first two weeks and are just excited to get out here for their first game in a long time. Always nice to break the ice with the first goal and take the lead and go from there.”
Morlock acted as Warriors head coach due to head coach Tom Grausam’s red card in the Section 8-2A final last year.
“It was good to be on the sidelines with these guys no matter what,” Morlock said. “Whether you are head coach or assistant we are all one big group.”
Late in the first half, Schake recorded his second yellow card giving him a red card. The Warriors were on the man advantage the last 50 minutes.
Warriors took a 1-0 lead into halftime and created multiple chances to add a second goal.
Fergus Falls saw an open net halfway through the second half with a chance to tie. The shot went wide of the net and the score remained 1-0.
Warriors’ forward Cruz Megazzini thought he had a goal at the 20:22 mark, but pushed an Otter’s defender and got whistled for a foul prior to the goal.
Freshman forward Sean Engelstad tallied his first varsity goal with 15:55 left in the second half to give the Warriors a two goal cushion.
“It was exciting because we were kind of on our toes a little bit,” Engelstad said. “(Fergus Falls) had a few good runs up the side and in the middle. To get that second (goal) made the team feel a lot better about the way we were playing.”
Engelstad’s goal came on a corner that turned into a broken play that he was able to finish unassisted.
“I loved that we were finding our corners and finding our chances,” Morlock said. “Honestly, we created a lot and those opportunities we will finish them when they come. Sean had a great finish off a corner kick and we had plenty of chances to put it away and it was nice of him to get his first goal of his career too.”
Senior forward Isaiah Peterson added the final Warriors goal from an assist by Klecker with 3:08 remaining to seal the Warriors’ first win of 2020.
“I wanted to finish strong for my team,” Peterson said. “It’s thrilling and we all worked so hard to be out here and doing our best to stay healthy so we can all play. It’s all about mentality and just keeping the intensity up from the beginning and all the way through the game.”
The Warriors travel 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1, to play Sartell and hope to build off their first win.
“It’s just cleaning up possession and getting the ball moving,” Morlock said. “Being more patient, but it’s a great start for everyone.”
Fergus Falls 0 0 — 0
Brainerd 1 2 — 3
First half: Brd-Adam Klecker 28:14 PK
Second half: Brd-Sean Engelstad 15:55, Brd-Isaiah Peterson (Klecker) 3:08
Shots on goal: Brd 16
CONRAD ENGSTROM may be reached at 218-855-5861 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow on Twitter at www.twitter.com/the_rad34.
Warriors 3, Fergus Falls 0
Key: Warriors’ 3 goals sink Otters in opener.
Conference: Brd 1-0, FF 0-1
Overall: Brd 1-0, FF 0-1
Next: Brainerd at Sartell 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 1.