No. 5 Detroit Lakes defeated No. 4 Pelican Rapids 3-2 on a snowy David Brown soccer field in the first round of the Section 8A playoffs Thursday afternoon in Pelican Rapids.
“We just came out and played, we were seeded five and they were four but it doesn’t matter in the playoffs; everyone is 0-0,” co-captain Jackson Carlblom said.
The Lakers shifted their lineup playing without midfielder Kyle Miller and defender Caden Smith. Carlblom dropped back to center midfield where he excelled at keeping the Vikings’ attack under control late in the game to preserve the lead.
Co-captain Cole Metelak, Daniel Rosza, Kobe Braukmann and Kale Omang combined for much of the Laker attack with Omang looking to drive deep into Vikings’ territory the entire game.
“It’s nice to have everybody coming off the bench and contributing,” said Carlblom.
Metelak put DL up 1-0 scoring on a rebound of a free kick five minutes into the game.
The Vikings answered on a Alan Villagomez floater that got behind DL keeper Trey Seebold.
Metelak scored DL’s second goal off a throw-in and Tommy Fritz took a ball worked to him by Braukmann and Omang for the eventual game-winner.
Up 3-1, the Lakers played more defensive-minded as the second half wore on and were given a one-man bonus when the Vikings’ Farhan Omar was sent off with a red card with 25 minutes remaining in the game.
The call stemmed a bit of the physical play but playoff pressure continued late into the game with a number of players from both sides taking big spills from defensive stabs at the ball.
The Vikings upped the pressure when Abdinasir Mohamed was fouled in the penalty area setting up a penalty kick for Villagomez who beat Seebold to the bottom right portion of the net to cut the Laker lead to 3-2.
Seebold and the Laker defenders were able to manage the final 10 minutes of play to seal the mild upset and continue their season.
Seebold made nine saves. Corners were 4-2 in favor of Pelican Rapids.
The Lakers (7-8-1) earned a rematch with No. 1 Bemidji (14-2-1) on the road at Bemidji State University Saturday, Oct. 13 at 2 p.m. The Jacks cruised 11-0 over No. 8 Walker-Hackensack-Akeley. No 2 Hillcrest and No. 3 East Grand Forks meet in the other north subsection game. The Comets defeated No. 7 Fergus Falls 6-2; the Green Wave took out No. 6 Crookston 4-3.
In the south half, No. 6 Alexandria upset No. 3 Little Falls 1-0. The Cardinals will face No. 2 St. Cloud Cathedral after the Crusaders blanked No. 7 Minnewaska 8-0. No. 1 St. Cloud Apollo defeated No. 8 Melrose 12-2 and will play No. 4 Sartell-St. Stephen. The Sabres ended No. 5 Rocori’s season by a score of 7-1.
Detroit Lakes and Bemidji have only played once this season with the Lumberjacks defeating the Lakers 6-0 at Rotary Field early in the year on Aug. 28.