Senior High controls possession, beats Crookston 4-0

Crookston's Noah Dragseth and East Grand Forks' Hamse Ismail compete for the ball during Thursday's game in East Grand Forks. Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald

In a span of a few days, East Grand Forks Senior High went from five shots on goal in its season-opening boys soccer game to 19 on Thursday.

The result was a 4-0 win against visiting Crookston. The victory evened the Green Wave’s record at 1-1 after Senior High dropped its opener 3-2 to Detroit Lakes on Tuesday.

“The difference (between the first two games) was as simple as it gets -- we played our game today,’’ Senior High coach Robbie Grabanski said. “It was small, short passes and ball control. That led to more scoring opportunities.

“We controlled play. We controlled the ball and possession, slowly moving upfield. We probably had the ball 75 to 80 percent of the game in our offensive end. That led to more shots.’’

Brothers Hamse and Yahye Ismail had three points each in leading the Green Wave offense. Hamse, a senior, had two goals and an assist. Yahye, a freshman, assisted on both of his brother’s scores and had a goal himself on an assist from his brother.


Imran Nur also had a goal as Senior High showed some scoring punch. That was an area that was a concern for Grabanski, in his first season as the Wave coach. Senior High scored more than three goals in only three of its 16 games last season.

“We still are kind of worried about it,’’ Grabanski said. “We had some opportunities where we didn’t pull the trigger. We were trying to make the perfect play instead of just shooting.

“We didn’t know who would step into the scoring role. That I know of, we didn’t have a lot of scoring back.’’

The game was scoreless until Hamse Ismail scored twice in the final 8:32 of the first half.

“Hamse stepped up,’’ Grabanski said. “You could tell he wanted the ball, that he wanted to score. He played aggressively.’’

Senior High doubled its lead in a 2:25 span early in the second half as first Nur, then Yahye Ismail scored.

In the meantime, Crookston managed just one shot on goal at Senior High goalie Cayden Clarke.

Senior goalie Kaleb Thingelstad kept Crookston in the game as he registered 15 saves.


“He (Thingelstad) is pretty athletic. He has good quickness and reflexes,’’ Crookston coach Lon Boike said. “We gave up a lot of shots. He did a good job.

“We have to get better on defense.’’

The loss dropped Crookston to 0-2.

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