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Central blanks Riders 3-0

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Red River's Mohamud Yahye executes a bicycle kick past Central players Wyatt Peterson and Lucas Kanta and Red River's Maxx Andrade on Tuesday at Cushman Field. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald2 / 5
Grand Forks Central's William Lawson-Body battles Red River's Shayan Rasouli (9) and Angel De La Cruz for control of the ball Tuesday at Cushman Field. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald3 / 5
Grand Forks Central goalkeeper Will Howard makes a save as teammate Peter Loyland assists in the first half against Red River on Tuesday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald4 / 5
(From left) Grand Forks Central soccer players Nick Veres, Lucas Kanta, Davidson McLean, Jackson Macho and Peter Loyland celebrate the Knight's second goal in the first half against Red River on Tuesday. photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald5 / 5

Will Howard had a quiet night in goal Tuesday.

The Grand Forks Central goalie had only two saves. But that was enough for the Knights, as they blanked Grand Forks Red River 3-0 in boys high school soccer at Cushman Field.

"Our defense did a good job, not letting them shoot much,'' Howard said. "Sometimes it's hard to stay checked in in a game like that. But I kind of like them. It takes a lot of pressure off me.''

Howard had one tough save, leaping and batting away a ball with one hand in front of the net in the first half. "That was a great reaction by Will,'' Central coach George DuBois said.

Red River, which has scored 20 goals all season, was shut out for the fourth time.

"We had the ball in their half of the field quite a bit,'' Red River coach Luke Glasoe said. "We just couldn't score. That's kind of been the story of our season.''

Central received goals from Colton Mitchell, Davidson McLean and Mason Smith.

Mitchell got the Knights rolling when the sophomore finished on a centering pass in front of the goal from William Lawson-Body 12:05 into the game.

"William's intention was to get the ball in the box,'' DuBois said. "He did it and Colton was there to finish.

"The key was a fast start. It's a momentum thing. If you can steal the momentum early it makes a big difference. And I thought we stifled Red River's chance for a comeback with our third goal.''

Four minutes after Mitchell's goal, Howard's leaping save preserved Central's 1-0 lead. McLean gave the Knights a 2-0 lead when he scored at the 17:05 mark of the first half.

The Knights maintained the 2-0 advantage until, with 23:47 remaining, Smith finished on a corner kick from Lawson-Body.

"Two down, it's not too crazy to look at making a comeback,'' Glasoe said. "But it's hard coming back when you're three down.''

That was especially difficult against Central's defense.

"We've worked a lot on playing as a unit on defense,'' DuBois said. "The kids did a nice job of doing that. I didn't think we gave up a lot of quality shots.''

Carter Krenelka had seven saves for Red River.

Central improved to 10-4-1 with the win, while Red River dropped to 4-6-6.