|9/3/2020 2:26:00 PM|
Bollman and Vikings frustrate St. Francis en route to 0-0 tie
North Branch 0, St. Francis 0 (OT)
Twenty minutes into the Viking boys’ soccer team’s season opener at home on Tuesday, August 27 against the St. Francis Fighting Saints, the Saints had what looked like an easy scoring opportunity. But as a Saints’ player shot the ball towards the wide open left side of the net, Viking goalkeeper Tanner Bollman flashed across the front of the net from right to left and got in front of the ball, which bounced out into the right side of the penalty box. Instinctively, Bollman bolted back to the right side of the net and the St. Francis player kicked it right into him. A Chisago County Press employee who witnessed the play said, “The first save was one of the nicest saves I’ve ever seen in soccer. The second save was just desperation but was incredible nonetheless.”
The Vikings showed similar effort and resilience throughout the game against the Saints – who went to the state tournament last season – and the game ended up in a 0-0 overtime tie.
The Vikings showed off their high level of energy early on, as they headed upfield right after the opening kickoff, connected on four or five passes to create great scoring opportunity and shot it just over the crossbar.
Bollman shined throughout the game, making a total of three pairs of double saves similar to the one described above. “Tanner played one of his best games ever,” said Viking head coach Jake Borash. “It’s really nice to see that level of play out of him.”
When the Vikings’ starting center back left the game with an injury after eight minutes, senior outside back Austin Richter moved to center back and played there for 80 minutes. “He played out of his mind,” said Viking head coach Jake Borash. “He stayed on the field for the final 80 minutes of the game and battled through fatigue.
Center midfielder Justin Ramos also showed some toughness. He sprained his ankle before the game but taped it and played the entire game. Borash said “Once he got on the field, the adrenaline took over and he controlled the midfield throughout the game. Our starters all played 70-plus minutes. The outcome was very much a positive for us. We were outmatched physically, but we didn’t back down. And we won most of the individual battles for the ball.”
Due to the pandemic, high school soccer teams will play just 11 regular season games this season, and no more than two games per week.
The Vikings will take on the Chisago Lakes Wildcats tonight at Chisago Lakes High School at 7 p.m. Next Tuesday, September 8, the Vikings will head to Becker to face the Becker Bulldogs at 7 p.m.