Seven different goalscorers–including a first-time varsity scorer–helped Bemidji boys soccer end a five-match winless run with a comprehensive 8-0 victory over Pelican Rapids on Tuesday evening at Chet Anderson Stadium.
Fresh off a narrow, frustrating 3-2 loss at Brainerd on Saturday, the Lumberjacks got off to a flying start with a goal in the 2nd minute from one of their seniors. A looped cross from the flank by Reed Johnson was nodded perfectly into the corner of the net by Jacob Stanoch to put Bemidji up 1-0 early.
The Lumberjacks had the edge in possession for much of the half, but could not find a second goal until the 38th minute when the same combination of Stanoch and Johnson swapped roles for the sophomore to sweep in a first-time strike from the edge of the 18-yard box.
There was just enough time remaining in the half for the duo to combine once more with 18 seconds to play. Johnson wove through challenges on the edge of the box before slipping a ball to Stanoch, who got the beating of Vikings’ goalkeeper Arturo Zavala after seeing several previous efforts to double his personal tally denied at close range.
Goals flew in early and often in the second half as the Lumberjacks continued to dictate the tempo against a Pelican Rapids team short of several starters due to injury. Another senior made the game 4-0 in the 49th minute, with Bo Hofstad’s cross finding Brodie Price for his first goal of the season.
Isaac Stone made it 5-0 in the 61st minute with a perfectly struck free kick right on the edge of the penalty area after he had been fouled moments before to earn the set piece.
Stone then turned provider to help Jonathan Devescovi finish off a sweeping team goal in the 64th minute that ended with the senior midfielder guiding a finish beyond Zavala from just inside the area.
In the 71st minute, Al Toward provided perhaps the biggest cheer of the night when the sophomore crashed a parried save from Zavala to fire in a rebounded finish for his first varsity goal–much to the delight of his teammates, the fans, and his father, Bemidji head coach Rick Toward.
One more goal followed for the Lumberjacks in the 77th minute with a steal of a short goal kick that turned into a tap-in for Conor Stodgell to round off the scoreline.
Goalkeeper Connor Helm posted three saves for his and the Jacks’ second shutout of the season, as Bemidji outshot Pelican Rapids 18-3 for the night.
The Lumberjacks improve to 5-7-1 with the win, and will take almost a week off before hosting East Grand Forks on Monday at 5pm at the Bemidji Middle School.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Rick Toward: