Grand Forks Central maintains rivalry dominance, claims Cushman Cup
The Roughriders haven't scored against the Knights since 2019.
GRAND FORKS — Grand Forks Central's Reardon sisters put their heads together Tuesday night to maintain the Knights' rivalry dominance over Grand Forks Red River.
Central sophomore Lauren Reardon scored on a header on a ball played off the head of freshman sister Jacie Reardon as the Knights beat the Roughriders 1-0 at Cushman Field.
The Reardon connection — Lauren's first career varsity goal — came with 20 minutes, 5 seconds left in the first half.
"On a corner kick, I saw it come over my head and saw Jacie go up for it," Lauren said. "It kind of looked like it was going to go in (off Jacie's header), but I decided I would take that one from her instead."
With the win, Central sweeps the season series with the Riders and claims the annual Cushman Cup trophy after a 2-0 victory earlier this spring. The Knights haven't lost to Red River since the COVID-19 season that was canceled in 2020.
In fact, the last time Red River scored a goal against Central was the last time Red River beat Central — a 3-1 Red River win on May 21, 2019.
Central goalie Hannah Biby made 12 saves to Red River goalie Eden Parkinson's seven. Red River's best opportunity to tie the game came with about 6:30 left in the second half when senior Lucy Halverson hit the post.
"I think, for the most part, we outplayed Central tonight but they got the goal and we couldn't get one in," Red River coach Jason Heydt said. "They earned it. They did a nice job. We struggled to get shots on net. Our shots were wide when we had good scoring opportunities."
According to Red River's team stats, the Riders attempted 21 shots with five on net.
"There were definite ebbs and flows," Central coach George DuBois said. "There were stretches in the first half where our play was good. I thought Annika Presteng playing in the high forward role did a nice job distributing, connecting with Claire Hynek. We were happy to get to half 1-0. Red River came out strong in the first eight minutes of the second half. In the last 15 minutes, we were ready to play more defensively and be organized and compact and limit chances."
Perhaps most importantly, the game held playoff implications for both teams. With the win over Red River, Central jumped the Riders for the fourth spot in the EDC standings. The top four teams in the league make the state tournament.
Central is 4-4-1 in the league, while Red River is 3-5-2. Central has five games remaining, while Red River has four.
"A big part of our focus lately has been finding the weak spot in the defense and finding the people in the middle to play the ball through those gaps," Reardon said. "Our back line is phenomenal. It all starts in the back line and works its way up."