9/26/2019 4:15:00 PM NB upsets Becker at last second
by CHUCK FITZER
North Branch 2, Becker 1 Emmie Meyer scored with 45 seconds left in the game to lift the Viking girls soccer team to a 2-1 win over the Becker Bulldogs on Tuesday, September 17 at North Branch.
The Bulldogs scored ten minutes into the first half and led until Paige Bauer scored with seven minutes left in the game to tie it at 1-1. And with less than a minute to go in the game, eighth grader Danna Garcia-Velazquez flicked the ball to Meyer, an attacking midfielder, and Meyer put a shot past the Becker goalkeeper for the winning goal. Viking head coach Josh Kopp said “We controlled most of the game, both defensively and attacking. We pressed them hard up top and finally broke through.”
Monticello 5, North Branch 0 The Vikings had a tall task last Thursday, playing at home against a Monticello Magic team with a 9-2-1 record that featured senior Abi Frandsen, who has committed to the University of Minnesota soccer team. The Magic scored four times on set pieces – free kicks, corner kicks and penalty kicks – and shut out the Vikings 5-0.
Frandsen came in the game against the Vikings with back-to-back hat tricks and has 20 goals on the season. Viking head coach Josh Kopp assigned Emmy Meyer the specific responsibility to stay with Frandsen the whole game to prevent Frandsen from scoring. And the strategy worked. Meyer shut down Frandsen for much of the game, and both players picked up yellow cards as play got pretty intense. With 20 minutes left to go in the second half, Meyer went in for a hard tackle on Frandsen and hyperextended her knee. Kopp said “Emmy quickly recovered and was cleared by the trainers to go back in a few minutes later, but we were didn’t want to take any chances. Also, Emmy already had a yellow card and we didn’t want her to pick up another one and miss our next game.” But the rest of the Vikings stepped up and kept Frandsen from scoring, other than on a penalty kick.
“We played well against a very good team, for the most part,” said Kopp. “But we need to work on stopping goals on set pieces. And I want to mention freshman defender Kayla Allison, who did a great job on the back line for us in this game.”
Proctor 3, North Branch 2 The Proctor Rails scored ten minutes into the second half to break a 2-2 tie and held off the hard- charging Vikings to win 3-2 last Saturday at Proctor. The start of the game was delayed for an hour and fifteen minutes by lightning.
Four of the game’s five goals were scored in the first half. Paige Bauer scored the first goal of the game, and the Rails scored on a corner kick to tie the game 1-1. Later in the half, eighth-grader Danna Garcia-Velazquez scored the first goal of her high school career to put the Vikings in front 2-1. Proctor scored off a free kick and the teams went into halftime tied 2-2. Proctor’s second half goal came off a corner kick. The Vikings ramped it up and put pressure on the Rails. The pressure got so intense that Proctor ended up getting three yellow cards late in the half and even got a red card right near the end. But they managed to hang on. Kopp said “Proctor was very physical and very fast. We couldn’t match them in physicality, but we matched dup with them well, otherwise. We just didn’t execute on all of our opportunities and the set pieces ate us up.”
St. Francis 5, North Branch 1 The Vikings went into the game at St. Francis this past Monday night determined to fix their issues with allowing goals from set pieces. They took care of that issue, but a tough Fighting Saints team found other ways to score and beat the Vikings 5-1.
St. Francis, a tough conference and section opponent for the Vikings, scored three times in the first half. Sylvia Linkert bent one in from a corner kick ten minutes into the second half to cut the Fighting Saints’ lead to 3-1. The Vikings started to put more pressure on at that point. But the Saints cleared up any doubts about the outcome by scoring to go up 4-1 with 15 minutes left in the game. They added another goal near the end to make the final score 5-1.
“We really did do a good job stopping their set pieces,” said Viking head coach Josh Kopp. “They had a lot of corners. And while this game and the one against Monticello were not close on the scoreboard, we played well against a couple of very good teams.”