Seniors Hannah Voge and Lily Paquette supplied the scoring and Bemidji girls soccer’s backline notched an eighth clean sheet of the season to roll to a 3-0 victory over visiting Grand Rapids on Tuesday at the Bemidji Middle School.
Bemidji’s performance was a generally sharp response to a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Duluth East on Friday, which snapped a four-game winning streak for the Jacks and came just a day after winning 3-0 against section rival Brainerd. Crisp possession and frequent forays in attack left the Lumberjacks in need of a finishing touch–which Voge supplied in the 18th minute.
The Thunderhawks’ effort to control the ball in defense was not properly managed, giving Voge a chance to steal in and beat the backline before striking low past Maggie MacLean in Grand Rapids’ goal.
Voge needed just two minutes to snatch another goal–her ninth of the season–on a scramble in the area that was created by Addy McCrady’s well-struck corner kick.
The lead stayed at 2-0 at halftime despite several further chances for the Jacks against a Grand Rapids defense that was forced to shuffle its centerback tandem due to first-half injuries. Pressure continued to be with the home side early in the second 40 minutes, starting with a lobbed strike by Paquette that skimmed off the top of the crossbar.
It took very little time for Paquette to fashion–and convert–another chance in the 44th minute. Matjea Malterud’s sweeping clearance up field was reached by Paquette, who accelerated past two defenders and snuck a drilled effort past MacLean at her near post.
Bemidji nearly found a fourth goal on several occasions, most notably a hard cross to Emma Stay on the back post that eluded her by fractions.
Goalkeeper Clara Bieber needed only two saves to complete the clean sheet for Bemidji, which improved to 9-5 with the win.
The Lumberjacks will finish the Lakes to Prairie Conference schedule with their Senior Night match against Detroit Lakes at Bemidji State’s Chet Anderson Stadium on Thursday at 7pm.
Postgame interview with Bemidji head coach Logan Larsen: