Spreading the Love
Taryn Love got the best of Jamestown physically and mentally Saturday.
The Minot High School sophomore routinely beat JHS defenders to the ball, blew past them once she had possession and was a part of both goals in the Majettes’ 2-0 win at Optimist Soccer Complex.
Love even drew the ire of one JHS player with about two minutes remaining and the game well out of reach for the Blue Jays. Senior defender Morgan Huber received a yellow card after plowing through Love in frustration.
“Yeah, I don’t think they were happy,” Love said with grin. “I think we came together more. We moved the ball around. … We didn’t just stand and wait for the ball to come to us.”
MHS (3-4-1) controlled possession for about 95 percent of the game and had 21 shots on goal compared to just one for the Blue Jays (1-7-0).
Love scored the first goal on a cross from junior Makaila Anderson at 13 minutes, 45 seconds of the first half. Anderson shook a defender on a sprint up the right wing and her cross bounced through a porous JHS back line for a well-placed one-timer by Love.
“I was surprised at how many (defenders) it got through – I mean, it’s happened to us before – but I was more surprised at the fact that there was a girl standing right in front of me and she just moved out of the way when I kicked it into the net,” Love said. “I thought she was gonna block it. I guess I just got lucky on that one. In the right spot at the right time.”
MHS did most of its work on the right side of the field in the first half to set up 14 shots on goal. The game shifted to the left side for MHS during stretches of the second half and the Blue Jays struggled to get the ball more than 30 yards up the field on goal kicks.
“We would like to have more offense,” JHS coach Ryan Kleinknecht said. “I mean, that was kind of our keys to step up our offense today and we really didn’t get to that point. But, you know, defensively, I think we did do what we needed to.”
JHS senior goalkeeper Carissa Finck finished with 21 saves in what Kleinknecht described as her best performance of the season.
Finck’s defenders did not help much in the 18-yard box. Another unmarked Majette scored the second goal less than a minute into the second half. Love sped up the left wing and lofted a cross for Alicia Feehan to run through and the freshman used her body to notch her first varsity goal.
“Just winning a ball out of the air and putting it in with her body was nice to see,” MHS coach Matt Pfau said. “(Feehan) did an excellent job of that (Friday) night too. That’s just something we worked on in practice the whole week is just moving without the ball, finding the open spots, trying to slide balls there and she’s just really picking it up and it showed the last two games.”
MHS sophomore goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stenberg finished with two saves. Kleinknecht received a yellow card in the first half for arguing a call with the referee.
MHS has 10 points in the West Region standings and is battling with Bismarck Century (10) and Mandan (9) for one of the region’s final two spots in the state tournament. The Majettes host Bismarck High at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.