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home : sports : sports
December 5, 2021

10/15/2021 10:30:00 AM
Gerten leads Lady Vikes to first round section win

SECTION 7AA 
QUARTERFINALS
North Branch 5, Hibbing 1
Ava Gerten scored four goals as the third-seeded Vikings dominated from start to finish and beat the sixth-seeded Hibbing/Chisholm Bluejackets 5-1 this past Tuesday, October 12 at North Branch High School in a Section 7AA quarterfinal game.  The Vikings will travel to Grand Rapids High School tonight for a 7 p.m. semifinal matchup against the second-seeded Grand Rapids Thunderhawks, who crushed Mesabi East 9-0 Tuesday night.  The Vikings and the Thunderhawks tied 0-0 early in the regular season.  Next Tuesday, October 19, the winner of tonight’s game will play the winner of the game between top-seeded Cloquet-Carlton and fifth-seeded Duluth Denfeld for the section championship at the home field of the higher of the two remaining teams.

After missing on a number of early scoring chances, the Vikings broke through in the 17th minute.  Lilly Johnson sent a through ball down the left edge of the Hibbing box.  Gerten ran onto it and rolled a ball past the goalkeeper and inside the right post to give the Vikings a 1-0 lead.  Two minutes later, Danna Garcia-Velazquez sent a crossing pass from the right to Gerten at the top of the box.  Gerten trapped the ball, spun to her left and ripped a shot inside the right post to make the score 2-0.  In the 36th minute, the Bluejackets were awarded a free kick in the center of the field about 30 yards out from the Viking net.  The Hibbing player ripped a high shot towards the crossbar.  Viking keeper Sharis Garcia-Velazquez jumped and managed to get her hands on the ball, but it bounced to the left and rolled inside the left post to cut the Viking lead to 2-1 going into halftime.

Early in the second half, the Bluejackets managed to get the ball into the Viking end of the field.  Keeper Sharis Garcia-Velazquez came out to grab the ball and punted it down the right sideline.  Abby Randall ran onto it near midfield, blew down the sideline and sent a through ball to Gerten charging down the middle.  Gerten didn’t have to break stride as she went in alone on the Hibbing keeper and, from about ten yards out, rolled it inside the left post to increase the Viking lead to 3-1.  Gerten scored her fourth goal a few minutes later.  She received a through ball from Sharleen Garcia-Velazquez and sent it inside the right post to make it 4-1.  The Vikings scored their final goal in the 60th minute, as Emmie Meyer sent a ball through to Johnson outside the left side of the Hibbing box.  From a tough angle, Johnson sent a hard shot along the ground and inside the right post to make it 5-1.  Viking head coach Josh Kopp emptied his bench after that, giving his starters some rest as they prepare for tonight’s semifinal matchup against Grand Rapids.

When Kopp talked with his players after the game, he congratulated them on the win.  But he told them they would need to play a lot better against Grand Rapids on Thursday night if they wanted to advance to the section final.  Other than the goals themselves, the Vikings didn’t make the Hibbing goalie work that hard, as 15 to 20 shots completely missed the net.  But  some lovely through balls and Gerten’s ability to finish assured them of the win.



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