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BHS rides second-half surge over Century
Two of the most prolific offensive teams in West Region soccer squared off Tuesday at the Bismarck Community Bowl and it was the Bismarck Demons living up to their preseason billing with a 4-1 win over rival Century.
Michael Matthews and Rodrigue Mugisha each had a goal and an assist to give the Demons an early leg up in the race in the West Region. Bismarck was picked as the coaches’ preseason favorite and Century was selected second.
“Once we got things rolling we just kept the tempo up and kept attacking and attacking,” Matthews said. “Once they got that free kick we shut off for a minute then we got back into it.
The Demons came in with the region’s most prolific offense with 15 goals in in three region games. Century wasn’t a slouch, netting 10 goals. But the Patriots had a hard time getting quality shots on goal. And the four goals exceeded the three allowed by the Patriots the entire season.
Ten minutes into the first half, Mikane Aberle took a corner kick for the Demons that bounced off the back of a teammate in front of the Patriots’ goal. CHS goalie Ben Cleary punched the ball away but it went right to Rodrigue Mugisha, whose shot at the goal was blocked away.
Cleary made several stops though they weren’t typical saves. Instead, he raced Matthews to bouncing balls twice and dived on them before Matthews could get a shot off.
“It does get frustrating but you just have to keep going at it,” Matthews said. “We knew if we just keep going, we’d get those goals.”
The Demons’ Joseph Botanyi broke the scoreless tie 27:51 into the first half. Botanyi dribbled to his right and unleashed a shot that Cleary got a hand on, but the ball trickled in for a 1-0 lead.
The lead was short-lived, however. At 32:23 of the opening half, Jackson Lackner took a free kick from 24 yards out and the bending shot bounced in front of Bismarck keeper Easton Ford and over his head into the net to tie the game going into halftime.
Matthews finally made good on a chance just 3:16 into the second half. He worked a pass from Rodrigue Mugisha into an open space 17 yards out to the keeper's left and took a shot that went over a leaping Cleary and beneath the crossbar for a 2-1 lead.
“It came to Rodrique and it came to me and I took it to my right and hammered it,” Mathews said.
Mugisha then added another goal -- with an assist to Matthews -- on a rush on goal. Mugisha’s shot deflected off a defender past Cleary at 11:02.
Ethan Stotz scored the final goal of the game on a perfect header off a corner kick by Aberle.
Ford was perfect after his miscue on the Patriots’ only goal and finished with 13 saves.
It may be early in the season, but it was a big win as far as Matthews is concerned.
“In my whole career, four years, we’ve only beat Century twice.”
-Scooter Pursley - Bismarck Tribune