Bemidji boys soccer’s bright opening half faded progressively throughout the afternoon as two goals from Nick Holmberg helped Brainerd to a 3-0 victory on Saturday at the Bemidji Middle School.
The Lumberjacks have now gone winless in their last five meetings with Brainerd, compiling an 0-3-2 mark in that stretch.
Bemidji’s opening half was a positive one filled with many chances and a significant edge in possession. Reece Melville and Noah Johnson combined to fashion an opportunity in the early minutes that ultimately amounted to nothing.
Johnson had another look minutes later when he nodded a corner from brother Reed Johnson just wide.
The Lumberjacks went end-to-end following a delayed scoop by goalkeeper John McNallan and saw Melville again stopped from longer range.
Brainerd flipped the script on the game in the 26th minute when the Lumberjacks failed to deal with a rare corner for the visitors. The ball fell to Holmberg, who fired a first-time finish past a frozen McNallan to give the Warriors the advantage.
The 1-0 lead would hold up into halftime and was doubled just minutes into the second half when the substitute Holmberg was put on the field to begin the frame. He picked up possession on the edge of the 18-yard box before unleashing a pinpoint strike past McNallan.
Brainerd’s dominance in the second half was rewarded with yet another goal in unfortunate circumstances for the Lumberjacks after a looping cross into the area slipped through McNallan’s hands for Adam Klecker to prod home.
The hosts were ultimately outshot 10-6, as McNallan was credited with seven saves.
Bemidji will travel to Pelican Rapids on Tuesday for a 3:30 game that can be heard on the Lumberjack Radio Network beginning at 3:15pm on KBUN-FM 104.5 and Lumberjacks1 at kbunsportsradio.com.