Seventh-ranked Blaine boys’ soccer handed sixth-ranked Anoka a bit of an upset by a 3-1 score at Bengals Stadium Tuesday night.
The Bengals (5-1-1) started strong, scoring three times in span of 13 minutes to take a 3-0 lead before the 28th minute mark of the first half. TJ Johnson, Jason Scheeler and Jeremiah Strand scored for the Bengals. Scheeler, Strand and Asher Bates assisted on the goals.
Anoka’s Roland Oyou scored his third goal of the season 10 minutes before halftime.
“It was a great test for us and I was all nervous in the second half,” Bengals coach Berry Arrowsmith said. The nerves came from Blaine’s inability to finish its scoring chances, while Anoka had a number of chances to cut the lead but couldn’t solve the Bengals defense and goalkeeper Alex Beck.
Arrowsmith liked the way Beck distributed the ball from the back and his decision-making to challenge Anoka’s attack at the top of the penalty box.
Anoka coach Pete Hayes conceded Blaine came out with more determination from the start. “They finished some opportunities and converted a penalty kick,” he said, pointing out Anoka’s stubbornness to not allow another goal over the final 67 minutes. “We didn’t quit and didn’t give them anything and kept battling where last year we gave up but instead we stuck with them.”
Hayes compares the current squad along similar lines of some of his best teams. “This group brings in a lot of the intangibles of those other teams we’ve had. They don’t have a dominant goal-scorer but the depth and strength-wise across the back and up the middle is there,” he said.
Sophomore Connor Schaaf leads the team with seven goals and one assist, while Jake McElmery has eight assists and Felipe Genechi has emerged as a scorer with four goals and one assist for the Tornadoes.
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