|9/24/2021 11:31:00 AM|
NB stays unbeaten in girls soccer
by CHUCK FITZERNorth Branch 3, Big Lake 0
The Big Lake Hornets play a defensive style of soccer that makes it tough for teams to get off good shots with the ball in play, which the Vikings experienced in a home game last Thursday. So, the Vikings, who controlled the ball for virtually the entire game, had to find another way to score. And they did. Led by freshman Drew Moryn and senior Emmie Meyer, the Vikings scored three goals off corner kicks and shut out the Hornets 3-0.
Moryn scored a goal directly from a corner kick, curling the ball inside the far post from the left corner. She sent a ball in to Meyer from the right corner, and Meyer converted it for another goal. And another corner kick saw the ball go into the box and get knocked around before Meyer put it into the net. Ava Gerten picked up the assist on that goal.
“We had almost 30 shots, but not many quality shots,” said Viking head coach Josh Kopp. “Big Lake had just three shots in the whole game. Drew Moryn is a good distributor of the ball in the normal course of play, and she showed everyone what she can do from the corner in this game.”
North Branch 3, Duluth Marshall 1
Ava Gerten scored her third hat trick of the season to lead the Vikings to a 3-1 win over the Duluth Marshall Hilltoppers in Duluth last Saturday, September 18.
Marshall scored on a nice strike five minutes into the game to go up 1-0. “The Vikings haven’t beaten Marshall in a long time – maybe ever,” said Viking head coach Josh Kopp. “We had that monkey on our back. They are a team that plays outstanding defense, and when we got down 1-0 early, the thought was that it could end that way. But our girls turned it on and came up with a big win.”
Still in the first half, the Vikings moved the ball into the Hilltopper box. Summer Fruth took a shot. The keeper made the save, but Gerten put away the rebound to tie the game at 1-1. Later in the half, some quick passing by the Vikings got the ball through midfield. Gerten got the ball at the top of the box, beat a defender one-on-one and scored from eight yards out to give the Vikings a 2-1 lead. Gerten added an insurance goal in the second half. She received a ball at the top of the Marshall 18-yard box, and saw that she had some space, so she turned and shot the ball past the keeper into the back of the net to put the Vikings up 3-1. Sharleen Garcia Velazquez and Lilly Johnson each assisted on a Gerten goal.
North Branch 10, Becker 0
Lilly Johnson scored four goals to register her first hat trick of the season, and Ava Gerten scored three times for her fourth hat trick of 2021 as the Vikings crushed the overmatched Becker Bulldogs 10-0 Monday, September 20 at Becker High School. Gerten also had three assists to go along with her hat trick. Danna Garcia Velazquez, Ava Mohs and Emmie Meyer scored the other three goals for the Vikings. Playmaker Sharleen Garcia Velazquez had three assists, and recording one assist each were Johnson, Abigail Randall, Drew Moryn and Mohs.
The Vikings led 4-0 at halftime and scored four times in the first five minutes of the second half to go up 8-0. “We weren’t looking to score ten goals,” said Viking head coach Josh Kopp. “The second half scoring just happened so fast. We have a lot of weapons, attacking-wise, in addition to Ava. We used the rest of the second half to work on some things.”
Sophomore Ava Gerten is third in the state, in all classes of girls’ soccer, with 17 goals. Eighth-grader Sharleen Garcia Velazquez is tied for ninth in the state with eight assists.
The Vikings, who are still undefeated at 9-0-1 this season, have still not cracked the top ten in the Class 2A rankings. But even though, like Rodney Dangerfield, they are getting no respect, the rest of the state will soon know how good the Vikings are this season.
The Vikings will play the Monticello Magic tonight at 7 p.m. at Monticello Middle School. On Monday, they will battle the St. Francis Fighting Saints at home at 7 p.m. The winner of that game will have a leg up on the Mississippi 8 Conference championship, where they are currently tied for first with 3-0-0 conference records.