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Girls Soccer: Warriors continue to spread around scoring in win over Willmar

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 Scoring for the Brainerd Warriors has been a collective effort so far this season and that trend continued Thursday, Aug. 30, as three different players tallied in a 6-0 victory over the Willmar Cardinals at Adamson Field in Brainerd.

In the Central Lakes Conference opener for both teams, Brainerd's Gabbie Smith punched in two goals and added two assists. Gina Wasniewski also tallied twice and Emma Smith and the Warriors added an own goal in the final minute.

"I think that's how we're going to have to be," Warriors coach Grant Gmeinder said. "It's not going to be one person this season like maybe we've had in the past. It's going to be a collective effort. It's fun to see a few different girls get on the scoreboard and create for each other."

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Warriors 6, Willmar 0

  • The key: Brainerd outshot the Cardinals 11-2
  • Conference: Brd 1-0
  • Overall: Brd 2-1
  • Next: Brainerd at Sauk Rapids 5 p.m. Tuesday, Sept 4.

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Emma Smith said the Warriors don't want to be a one-player offensive team.

"We want to spread it out. We like to pass it back a lot so our defense can see the field more. Then we get it off to the sides and hopefully through the 6 (defensive midfield) and up here."

Emma Smith scored maybe the game's most interesting goal, popping the ball up about 20 feet in the air before it settled behind Willmar keeper Bryton Carlson.

"On our team, we call it the scoop," Emma Smith said of her shot. "I think I was like at the 25, maybe closer. Gabbie just passed to me and I tried to get it up and it worked."

The Warriors limited Willmar to just two shots on net as the Cardinals struggled to cross midfield and labored to threaten offensively.

"Our defense, I thought, played really composed today," Gmeinder said. "Willmar played a little different style, just a way we don't see. They have a very good coach who's very organized so some things (the Warriors) weren't expecting but they figured it out quickly and played composed which was great."

Gabbie Smith struck for the first time with a lethal left foot at 23:33 of the first. She scored again in the second half with another left-footer.

Late in the second half, Wasniewski scored twice within three minutes. Brainerd added an own goal with 47 seconds remaining on its way to its second win after a season-opening loss to Rogers.

Willmar 0 0—0

Brainerd 2 4—6

First half: B-Gabbie Smith 23:33, B-Emma Smith (Gabbie Smith) 24:18

Second half: B-Gabbie Smith (Gina Wasniewski) 47:21, B-Wasniewski 66:20, B-Wasniewski (Gabbie Smith) 68:59, B-Own goal 77:13

Shots on goal: W 2, B 11

Goalkeepers: W-Bryton Carlson (5 saves); B-Molly Rudolph (2 saves)