A 59th-minute goal from Brady Riley canceled out Jonah Engebretson’s tally 15 minutes prior as Bemidji and Duluth Denfeld finished level at 1-1 in a boys soccer matchup Saturday afternoon at Walt Hunting Stadium – Marv Heikkinen Field in Duluth.
The Jacks and Hunters each struggled to carve out opportunities during a sloppy first half that failed to produce a single shot on target for either team. Bemidji controlled much of the possession and had threats territorially, but could only count an off-target free kick from Reed Johnson as its only shot of the first 40 minutes.
Denfeld brought the game to life only four minutes after the second-half restart thanks to a stunning effort from Engebretson. The outside midfielder rounded off a rapid counter down the left flank by uncorking a pinpoint finish off the far post beyond Bemidji’s Kellen Heuer to give the hosts the advantage.
The Lumberjacks responded decently to conceding the opening goal, but still could not find the target despite a chance off the head of Austin Riewer a few minutes later.
In a prelude to his eventually greater contribution, Riley made a surging run out of the midfield to produce a header back across goal that eluded goalkeeper Liam Doyle before being swept out of the six-yard box.
Jeron Huseby had a pair of good looks for the Jacks during the next several minutes, firing straight into Doyle at close range before flicking a rebound over the bar after Noah Meyer had produced a save from the Hunters’ goalkeeper.
For the second time in three games, it was Riley who produced the equalizer for the Lumberjacks after his much later heroics against Grand Rapids on Tuesday. Isaac Stone’s flicked header found Riley making a run into the area, where he clipped a finish over Doyle to bring the match level.
Ultimately, Bemidji could not produce a winner despite a 6-1 advantage in shots on target that left Heuer without an official save recorded.
The draw was the Lumberjacks’ third straight match without a win, leaving them at 2-2-2 overall.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Rick Toward: