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Defense lifts Demons into first place

9/19/20 (Sat)

Bismarck High School soccer coach Ricardo Pierre-Louis made it clear to his team Saturday night that defense was job one.

 Obviously, the Demons were tuned in.

 Bismarck allowed only four shots on net in a 2-0 victory over Legacy at the Sanford Sports Complex. 

 The victory thrusts BHS into first place in the congested West Region soccer standings with 28 points. The Demons stand 9-1-1 with two, possibly three games remaining.

 Hot on the trail of the Demons are Century, 8-1-2 and Legacy, 8-2-2, with 26 points each. Minot is fourth with an 8-3-1 mark and 25 points in 12 games. Legacy has played 12 games and Century has 11 in the books.

 Senior center back Mason Weigel, who assisted on both BHS goals, said Saturday's victory was huge.

 "We haven't clinched anything yet, but it's a big win," he said. 

 Minot and Legacy have two matches remaining, while Bismarck and Century are hoping to have three. The Sept. 15 BHS-CHS game was postponed due to a coronavirus outbreak on the CHS team, leaving three big points in limbo.

 "We want that game back, and we wanted to make a statement tonight that we're coming after (Century)," Weigel said.

 He said a possible Sept. 26 make-up date is in the works.

 Legacy hadn't tested Bismarck sophomore goalkeeper Drew Henriksen with a shot when the Demons took command with two goals in the middle of the first half.

 Senior midfielder broke the scoring ice at the 20:11 mark when he deflected Weigel's long pass from midfield past Legacy keeper Lucas Weigel.


 At 29:59, Mason Weigel lofted a shot from about 30 yards out near the right sideline. Junior midfielder Dominic Williams tipped the ball into the net, giving the Demons a two-goal cushion.

 As it turned out, that was more than enough.

 Sabers junior Derek Schlittenhardt and senior Gabriel Saah were unable to convert promising scoring opportunities.

 Schlittenhardt, situated at the goal mouth, couldn't control an overhead pass in the 33rd minute. Saah had a 30-yard free kick from the right sideline in the 61st minute. Saah's shot, which was headed for the upper left corner of the net, was tipped over the goal by a leaping Henriksen.

 Legacy exerted its most effective pressure of the game in the final 20 minutes, but managed only three shots on net.

 Henriksen finished with a four-save shutout. Lucas Weigel made eight stops in the Legacy net.

 Pierre-Louis gave his team high marks for it's defensive work.

 "We didn't want (the Sabers) to use their strength against us," he said. "We wanted to be really good on transition. ... They can beat you in transition. They have three players who are very fast. We had to recover quickly and keep numbers behind the ball."

 Pierre-Louis said the Demons gave him a grade-A performance on Saturday.

 "The lads followed the game plan ... they were good on defense and good on offense," he said.

 Mason Weigel said the game required an all-out effort.

 "We played with our hearts and tried to get ahead of the ball so they couldn't score. ... We let them have the perimeter shots, but we didn't want to let them inside the box," he noted.

 Both teams have home games scheduled on Tuesday. Legacy will play host to Dickinson and Bismarck will take on Mandan.


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