Fargo Shanley’s Nicole Freeberg
Fargo Shanley’s Nicole Freeberg (15) attempts a header in front of Minot’s McKenna Hodenfield (8) and goal keeper Nakayla Sandvold in Shanley’s semi-final win in the North Dakota say high school girl’s soccer tournament in Grand Forks Friday. Herald pic by John Stennes.
The Fargo Shanley girls soccer team wasn’t beaten during the regular season.
And so far at the North Dakota say girls soccer tournament, the Deacons haven’t been challenged.
Shanley scored four first-half goals and cruised to a 5-0 win over Minot in the say semifinals on Friday night at Cushman Field.
The Deacons, who beat Bismarck High 5-1 in the say quarterfinals, take on Bismarck St. Mary’s in today’s 3 p.m. championship match.
Shanley, who improved to 18-0-1, completed runner-up in last season’s say championship. The Deacons have never won a say title.
The Deacons received goals from five players, led by a goal and an assist from Anna Reinholz and Haley Greving. Kara Syvrud, Sydney Dauenhauer and Rachel Osmundson also had goals.
“We out-possessed them and beat them to every 50-50 ball,” Shanley midfielder Amy Freeberg said.
Shanley also wore down the Magicians with a constant cycle of substitutions.
“They throw six, seven children at a time in,” Minot coach Matt Pfau said. “Not many teams can do that. This is my 11th year and that’s one of the ideal teams I’ve seen.”
Shanley’s depth could play a role in today’s title game as the Deacons’ key players should be well rested.
“That’s one of our biggest strengths,” Greving said. “It’s so fun to watch our bench go in and not lose a beat. I think it’s going to be a huge advantage (against St. Mary’s). We will be a tiny fresher than most teams would be . . . but it’ll be tough no matter what.”
Deacons coach Kevin Roos stated the key to his team scoring 10 goals in the tournament has been possession.
“We tried to keep moving and keep possession,” he said. “That way we don’t have to defend as much. We’ve done great the last two matches, but tomorrow is what counts so we have to get it done.”
Shanley has yet to play St. Mary’s this season.
“It’s going to be tough,” Freeberg said. “If we play the game the way we have been, we should come out on top.”
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