N.D. state boys soccer tournament: Demons edge Roughriders
A penalty kick put an end to Bismarck High's hopes of a state championship Thursday against West Fargo. A penalty kick was the difference again Saturday, but this time it helped the Demons to a consolation championship. Bismarck High senior midfi...
A penalty kick put an end to Bismarck High's hopes of a state championship Thursday against West Fargo.
A penalty kick was the difference again Saturday, but this time it helped the Demons to a consolation championship.
Bismarck High senior midfielder Matt Kessler scored on a penalty kick midway through the second half to lead the Demons to a 2-0 victory over Grand Forks Red River in the fifth-place match of the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament at South Middle School.
"It was definitely an interesting game," Red River coach George DuBois said. "I didn't see much to (the penalty). That was a major game-changer."
The Demons, who finish the year 12-4-2, entered the tournament as one of the favorites after finishing first in the West Region standings. But Bismarck High fell into the loser's bracket when West Fargo's Jade Johnson scored on a penalty kick in a 2-1 Packers' victory.
"(Bismarck High) easily could be in the championship," DuBois said. "It was a tough draw for us."
Kessler was awarded a penalty kick at 61 minutes, 21 seconds. His close-range shot got past the hands of diving Red River goalie Andrew Butkowski.
Kessler scored both goals for the Demons. He made it 2-0 at 73:43 to finish off the Riders.
"Bismarck is well-skilled and talented," DuBois said. "We knew we were going to have our hands full."
Butkowski finished with eight saves, while Demons goalie Todd Kessler had two stops.
After not qualifying for the state tournament the past two seasons, Red River finished the year 9-7-6.
"It was a great year for these guys to get back to the state tournament," DuBois said. "I can't be too disappointed with today. The guys took me on a fun ride this season, and I wish I had more time to work with them."