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High-octane Demons set for showdown

9/21/17 (Thu)

High-octane Demons set for showdown

  • DAVE SELVIG Bismarck Tribune


With the Bismarck High School soccer team this season, it's been pick your poison.

So far, nobody has found the right prescription.

The once-beaten Demons enter tonight's key West Region tilt against Minot at the Sanford Health Complex with a litany of statistics that scream they are good. The most obvious? Through 10 matches, BHS has scored 38 goals and allowed five.

"So far, I think we're pretty much where we expected to be," said third-year head coach Andy Foss. "We had a lot of kids coming back with a lot of varsity experience and they had very high expectations for this season.”

Already expected to be potent offensively, the Demons welcomed in transfer Merci Ndaberewe and he's added another deft finisher. Ndaberewe has tallied 10 goals. Fellow forward Dane Allen has registered six.

Tresor Mugwaneza and Mason Stotz have combined for another 10 goals with five apiece.

There's been stellar lead-up play as well. Midfielders Caden Evanson (six assists) and Michael Matthews (six assists) to a stellar job controlling the ball.

"Last year we relied a lot on Tresor going forward. One of the big differences with this team is just how balanced we are," Foss said. "You can't just focus on one or two guys. We're fortunate to have as many skilled kids as we do that can do a lot of damage."

As if scoring almost four goals per game wasn't enough, they also give up basically squat.

Zac Schmidt provides a wall in the goal box if anything ever gets through. That, however, is rare with Zach Kuhn and the organized back line sweeping away most scoring chances. Andrew Lee, Frank Mugisha and Kaide Gimbel form an all-senior and stellar line of defense.

"Those four guys have done an outstanding job and Zac's rock-solid in the net," Foss said of his defensive leaders. "They just don't give much up."

This year's version of the Demons compares very favorable to the 2015 state-championship squad. In fact, the current side might even have more scoring punch, Foss said.

"The 2015 team was a group of winners. They came up together and took it all the way to a state championship," Foss said. "Our team this year is probably more dynamic offensively, but the 2015 won a state championship. That's a pretty high bar."

Going into today's match, set for 8 p.m., Minot (8-3-1) leads the West Region with 22 points. The Demons (8-1-1) have 19. Century (8-2) is nipping at both with 18.

The Magicians and Demons played to a 2-all tie in Minot on Aug. 31, making tonight's matchup quite important as the stretch run looms.

"Minot has talent all over the field. We're very evenly matched teams" Foss said. "When we played them the first time it felt like a state-tournament match. You don't want to put too much stock into one singular game, but this certainly is a game our kids are looking forward to.”


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