Sep. 23—BEMIDJI — Matjea Malterud stuck like glue on Thursday night.
Tasked with shutting down East Grand Forks' Camryn Adams for much of the night, Malterud was near-impossible to shake. Malterud and the Bemidji High School girls soccer team silenced EGF all game, and the Lumberjacks walked out of Chet Anderson Stadium with a 1-0 win.
"Matjea rocked throughout the whole game," BHS head coach Logan Larsen said. "She's got speed. She's one of our players who's got amazing endurance. ... She's coming along very fast, which is great to see in a 10th grader."
Adams, the Green Wave's second-leading scorer this year, is a dangerous threat on the attack. That was no different on Thursday, but Malterud proved to be a worthy adversary by sticking close and shutting down most every opportunity before it surfaced.
"She was fast," Malterud said of Adams. "It makes me more determined to beat her. (Our objective) was to go 100% and go to every ball. Just be aggressive and work as a team."
Mission accomplished for the Jacks (4-4-1), who won the latest installment of the long-standing rivalry. The two foes are no longer in the same section, yet
it doesn't take a whole lot to get motivated for a matchup like this.
With Thursday's win, Bemidji improves to 15-14-3 in the series since 2009.
"Some of the girls now don't realize that past, but I'm grateful that EGF still brings that much pressure. We grow from a game like that," Larsen said. "It's a good rivalry to have. ... We have to learn how to defend (and) need a good keeper for an opponent like this."
While the backline and goalkeeper Kiera Nelson pitched a shutout, offensive exploits were equally responsible for the win. Although East Grand Forks (6-2-1) dominated much of the first half, Lily Paquette flipped momentum in the 27th minute when she found the ball at her feet.
The ball had skipped Paquette's way via a great find from Kate Halden, and Paquette capitalized by firing low and sneaking one past the keeper for the ultimate game-winning goal.
"It's so fun when our team scores (and we gain) the energy that it brings," Malterud said. "Everybody gets back to the start and it's like, 'OK, let's go harder. Let's be better.'"
But the adrenaline boost works both ways, and Malterud made sure she was ready for that.
"You just know the other team is going to come back even harder once you score that goal," she said. "So you have to be better than you were before."
Malterud and fellow backliners Sage Zetah-Cornelius and Gracee Bieber were tested against the lethal combination of Adams and leading scorer Kara Ellis.
The Wave did everything they could for an equalizer, yet it never came. Not on their eight corner kicks, not on multiple free kicks from dangerous spots, and not even on a suddenly wide-open net in the 77th minute.
The fateful moment came when Nelson fumbled a lofted shot. The ball trickled behind her and right to EGF's Rilyn Wagner from inside the six-yard box. But Wagner booted the ball wide of the net, dropping to her knees in disbelief and giving BHS a dash of luck to seal the victorious clean sheet.
"(This shutout) shows composure and it shows heart, which is great to see," Larsen said. "EGF didn't let up. They kept their foot on the gas pedal, and we still absorbed it."
Nelson finished with six saves for Bemidji, while Shali Anderson tallied three for the Wave.
The Lumberjacks will now hit the road to face Brainerd at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 24, in Brainerd.
Bemidji 1, East Grand Forks 0
EGF 0 0 — 0
BHS 1 0 — 1
First half — 1, BHS GOAL, Paquette (Halden), 27'.
Second half — No scoring.
Saves — Nelson (BHS) 6; Anderson (EGF) 3.