Gabbie Smith scored a hat trick, assisted by Josie Kramer all three times, as the Brainerd Warriors shutout St. Cloud Tech 5-0 Tuesday, Sept. 3.
“I got to give a lot of credit to Josie,” Smith said of her hat trick. “Those feeds were perfect that all I had to do was put them in.”
The windy conditions to start made it tough for both teams to get much offense as the Central Lakes Conference contest remained scoreless most of the first half.
The scoreless tie broke with 2:47 left in the first half as Kramer set up Smith for her the first of her three goals.
The Warriors got the offense going quickly in the second half as they scored three goals in the first 15 minutes.
The Kramer-Smith connection happened five minutes in putting the Warriors up 2-0. Ten minutes into the second half, after a Smith shot was saved by St. Cloud Tech goalie Abby Wright, the rebound deflected right to Kramer who got a goal to go along with her three assists.
Smith got her third goal off another crossing pass from Kramer with 26:22 left giving her a hat trick and the Warriors a 4-0 lead.
“Me and Gabbie work really well together,” Kramer said. “We see the field well and we’re able to find each other which is good.”
With two minutes remaining in the game Ally Weldon added another goal for Brainerd off a rebound as Brainerd walked away with a 5-0 win.
Goalkeeper Shayla Makowski-Budrow did not see much action, but notched one save off St. Cloud Tech’s lone shot.
“We played as a team tonight,” Smith said. “It wasn’t just two people or one person. It was everybody. I’m proud of the girls.”
Brainerd coach Grant Gmeinder thought his team played excellent defense that allowed his team to break it open in the second half.
“I think the defense played a full game,” Gmeinder said. “In the second half, they were comfortable on the ball and that allowed us to stretch them out and have more space to attack and you saw that with the four goals in the second half.”
Brainerd used the late goal in the first half to their advantage and crack St. Cloud Tech’s defense.
“I think the girls did a nice job of figuring them out,” Gmeinder said. “We feel good. That Tech team is going to win a lot of conference games we feel.”
Brainerd gets Wednesday off to gear up for Sartell, who they will play Thursday, Sept. 5.
“It’s a good win,” Kramer said. “And we’ll come prepared to play Sartell on Thursday.”
St. Cloud Tech 0 0 -- 0
Brainerd 1 4 -- 5
First half: Brd-Gabbie Smith (Josie Kramer) 2:47
Second half: Brd-Gabbie Smith (Josie Kramer) 35:09; Josie Kramer (Gabbie Smith) 30:21; Gabbie Smith (Josie Kramer) 26:22; Ally Weldon (Mari Devine) 2:15.
Shots on goal: Brd 14, SCT 1
Goalkeepers: Brd-Shayla Makowski-Budrow (1 save); SCT-Abby Wright (9 saves)
Conference: 2-0. Overall: 2-1. Next: Brainerd at Sartell 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 5.