A long-distance strike from Isabel Grospe and scrappy finish from Emma Wright six minutes apart in the second half proved to be the difference in lifting Bemidji girls soccer to its first victory over Moorhead in four years with a 2-0 result at Chet Anderson Stadium on Thursday evening.
The win was the first of the season in five tries for the Lumberjacks, while the shutout was the second in a row after a goalless draw at home against Coon Rapids. Reaching the end result required patience, as the goalless streak carried into the game by Bemidji reached over 280 minutes before finally ending.
Much of the first half possession belonged to the home team, but with little to show in terms of overall opportunities. Lauren Berg fashioned one of the best chances for the Lumberjacks with an effort that was kicked aside by Spuds goalkeeper Ella Rice.
From the opposite wing came another opportunity when Josie Aitken fired high on a chance from the edge of the area.
Moorhead threatened infrequently in attack throughout the night with only three shots on goal to trouble Bemidji’s Kiera Nelson. One of their better looks was a chance missed wide by Olivia Dronen that had been put together by Maria Zanotti from the opposite flank.
The goalless game found its spark on an unlikely goal from a first-time varsity scorer for Bemidji in the 49th minute. With the Lumberjacks working the ball flat across the midfield 35 yards from goal, defender Isabel Grospe hit a looping first-time strike from distance that carried over Rice and dipped in under the bar.
Six minutes later, the Lumberjacks had the ball in the net again with help from harassing work by Berg that poked a ball beyond the Moorhead defense. Wright was quickest to the loose ball and prodded an accurate finish past the onrushing Rice to put Bemidji two goals clear.
Miah Stone and Berg picked up the assists for the Lumberjacks, who picked up their first win since 2017 against Moorhead and ended a five-match winless run against the Spuds.
The win improves Bemidji to 1-3-1 overall this season going into a Saturday morning make-up game at St. Cloud Cathedral beginning at 11am from Whitney Park in St. Cloud.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Logan Larsen: