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Boys Soccer: DL bolts off to a solid 4-2-1 start

The effort and performance was there for the Detroit Lakes boys’ soccer team in their Monday contest in Bemidji; unfortunately, the timing wasn’t.

With timing winding down and DL clinging to a 3-2 lead, the Lumberjacks scored the tying goal with just 40 seconds left in regulation of the final overtime to force a final 3-3 tie.

“We felt like we had a few more opportunities to score than Bemidji and we didn’t capitalize on them,” said DL head coach Justin Wegleitner. “We are happy we came out of the game with some points, but we still felt a little letdown not maximizing our points.

“It’s been a while since we’ve beat Bemidji, so our goal heading into play was focused on a win, but they are a very solid team.”

The Lakers never trailed in the game, starting at the 15-minute mark in the first half when senior defenseman Colton Friesen found senior attacker Brady Crawford with an accurate lob pass inside the penalty area.

Crawford buried his attempt to put DL up 1-0, but as the day went on, Bemidji had an answer every time.

The Lumberjacks scored three minutes before the half, after a nice cross pass from the corner netted the goal.

Twenty minutes into the second half, junior forward Johnathan Hallisey dribbled down the edge of the defense and caught the Bemidji goalie coming out, then put his shot just under the crossbar for the 2-1 margin.

Again, 10 minutes later, the Lumberjacks followed with a goal of their own for the 2-2 tie, which led into overtime.

Senior Sam Bergren converted a 25-yard penalty shot to put DL up 3-2 with just three minutes left to play.

The Lumberjacks didn’t go away, as they added a player to their attack and put heavy pressure on DL goalie Connor Johnson and with one minute left, put together a corner kick series to tie the game.

DL outshot Bemidji 12-9, with seven of the Lumberjacks’ shots coming in the first half.

“Connor had some nice saves in overtime and made a couple of diving deflections,” Wegleitner said. “The defense stepped up after we found out Ben Thompson couldn’t play right before we left DL, because of lingering effects from a concussion.”

The defense was the key in Saturday’s 2-0 shutout victory over visiting Little Falls.

Shots on goal were even at seven apiece, with Crawford opening the scoring 12 minutes into the first half, and Hallisey assisting on a Bryant Windels’ tally in the second for the insurance goal.

The defense consisted of Bergren, Friesen, junior Garret Armstrong, seniors Ben Nelson, Ben Bergen and sophomore Connor Yamane.

The Lakers improve to 4-2-1.

The Lakers will face East Grand Forks (3-3) Thursday at 7 p.m.  at the DL Rotary Soccer Complex.

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