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Girls Soccer: Quick striking Moorhead squashes Warriors

This was the game Nicole Wiesner feared the most. Thanks to two quick Moorhead goals to start each half, the Spuds head coach saw those fears dissipate Tuesday. Moorhead scored in the 34th and 30th minute of the first half to build a 2-0 lead and...

Steve Kohls/ Brainerd DispatchBrainerd Warrior Elizabeth Harting heads the ball during their game with the Moorhead Spuds Tuesday night at Don Adamson Field.
Steve Kohls/ Brainerd DispatchBrainerd Warrior Elizabeth Harting heads the ball during their game with the Moorhead Spuds Tuesday night at Don Adamson Field.

This was the game Nicole Wiesner feared the most.

Thanks to two quick Moorhead goals to start each half, the Spuds head coach saw those fears dissipate Tuesday.

Moorhead scored in the 34th and 30th minute of the first half to build a 2-0 lead and then scored at 37:36 and 36:06 of the second half to rebuild its lead to an insurmountable 5-2.

Brainerd did its best to rebound, but fell short for a 5-4 Section 8-2A loss at Adamson Field in Brainerd.

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"We know Brainerd is a really good team so I thought we needed to do that," said Wiesner. "We had to come out and score quickly on them to get their heads down a little bit. Unfortunately it didn't work. I mean it worked in that we scored quickly, but they never were out of this game at any point. We knew they had Ally Smith on top.

"Brainerd plays a lot like us. We are solid up top all the way through the bottom and I think they are the same way so this was played to the very end."

Emily Leier ignited the scoring with a laser shot over the head of Brainerd's starting keeper Molly Rudolph. Four minutes later Lauren Hodny made it 2-0 with the first of her three goals.

Nine minutes later Hodny found the smallest of openings between Rudolph and the post to make it 3-0 Moorhead.

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Moorhead 5, Brainerd 4

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  • Key: Two quick goals to start each half keyed Moorhead's win
  • Overall: Brd 8-2-1, M 9-3-1
  • Next: Brainerd hosts Rocori 7 p.m. Thursday

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The Warriors answered with a Gabby Smith goal at 13:23. It was Ally Smith's turn two minutes later when she skipped a Regan McElfresh corner kick off her head into the net to cut the Spuds' lead to 3-2.

"To me they just came out ready to play," said Warriors head coach Grant Gmeinder. "We knew they had a great offense coming in, but we didn't know it was going to be this high scoring, but we knew some goals were going to be scored tonight on both sides. They just came ready to go. They just jumped all over us, but I really liked the way we responded in the first half. I thought the girls did great. I felt the last 20 minutes was all us. We easily could have scored a few more goals there.

"Then we talked at halftime. We told them it was going to take everything we have to come back in this game. We had them on their heels, but we knew they were going to come out in the second half ready. We needed to have more intensity. Moorhead had more intensity in the second half again. That was the difference."

Allison Ulness squirted through the Warriors' defense, collected a pass from Madeline Etter and plastered a shot past Megan Tschida, who replaced an injured Rudolph. A minute later, Hodny scored her third goal from an Ulness assist to make it 5-2.

This time, Wiesner's plan worked as it took the Warriors 15 minutes to regroup and respond. McElfresh once again placed the perfect free kick over the defensive wall and under the cross to push Brainerd to 5-3.

Senior Bryn Waters used a second and a third effort to post the final score as she fended off two Spud defenders, including the keeper, regained her balance and snuck a shot into the net for the final goal.

"From here on out we have to give everything we have to prepare," said Gmeinder. "Because we have to prepare for Bemidji, Rogers, Moorhead, Elk River. We have to prepare for our section teams even when we aren't playing against section teams. I think that's what happened to us. We've played some teams that aren't as strong and we've gotten away with some bad habits. We have to get rid of those now because we don't have a lot of time left."

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It's the second straight section loss and home loss for the Warriors, who suffered a 2-1 overtime loss to Bemidji Saturday. According to the Quality Results Formula, Bemidji leads the section followed by St. Michael-Albertville, Moorhead and then Brainerd.

The Spuds, who lost to Bemidji 2-1 Sept. 10, play the Lumberjacks again Thursday.

"This was a huge win," said Wiesner. "I was probably more worried in this game than I was with Bemidji even though Bemidji beat us and Brainerd. That's because Brainerd beat Rogers and Rogers beat us 3-0. So I knew it was going to be a big game. Hopefully we can use this momentum against Bemidji because we have three section games this week."

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Moorhead 3 2-5

Brainerd 2 2-4

 

First half: M-Emily Leier (Lauren Hodny) 24:19; M-Hodny 30:15; M-Hodny (Jenna Schroeder); Brd-Gabby Smith 13:23, Brd-Ally Smith (Regan McElfresh) 11:12

Second half: M-Allison Ulness (Madeline Etter) 37:36; M-Hodny (Ulness) 36:06; Brd-McElfresh free kick 15:14; Brd-Bryn Waters (Ally Smith) :51

Shots on goal: Brd 16, M 7

Goalkeepers: Brd-Molly Rudolph (1 save), Megan Tschida (1 save); M-Marissa Herdt (12 saves)

Covering the Brainerd lakes area sports scene for the past 23 years.
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