Magicians upset Deacons at state tourney

JAMESTOWN – Playing down a man for any length of time is a tough task, but that’s what the Minot boys soccer team had to do on Thursday.

The Magicians played nearly 30 minutes shorthanded because of a red card foul, but didn’t let the disadvantage prevent them from upsetting Shanley 3-2 in overtime during the quarterfinals of the North Dakota state tournament at Rotary Field.

Minot junior forward Ekow Annan scored the game-winning goal with two minutes, 20 seconds remaining in the second golden-goal overtime period.

“It was an unbelievable ending,” Annan said. “My teammates inspired me to do my job and get a shot in the net. I may have scored the goal, but the whole team played harder than we have all season and it really paid off.”

Minot (8-3-5) advances to play Century in the semifinals at 7 p.m. tonight. Century, the No. 2 seed from the West, beat Davies 1-0.

“We mentally got into a funk and were unable to dig ourselves completely out of it,” Shanley coach Michael Breker said.

The Deacons entered the tournament as the top seed from the East Region, but drew a tough opening round opponent in Minot. The Magicians haven’t lost a match since a 2-1 setback against Bismarck on Sept. 3.

“Up one man you like your chances,” Breker said. “It’s inexplicable. We got away from what got us here and it cost us.”

Shanley jumped out to a 1-0 lead when senior forward Conrad Hager scored on a direct free kick in the fifth minute.

Minot answered with a goal from senior midfielder Jacob Schmidt three minutes later. The Magicians took the lead when Annan scored a goal with 16:27 remaining in the first half.

Minot senior defender Ben Love was called for a red card foul for denying an obvious goal scoring opportunity in the box with 8:51 remaining in regulation. The foul led to a penalty kick for Hager, who got the tying goal past Minot senior goalkeeper Garrett Weishaar.

Love, who was called for a red card earlier in the year, has to sit out the remainder of the tournament because a second ejection carries a four-game suspension.

“We overcame a couple of penalties and had both a free kick and penalty kick scored on us,” Minot coach Cody Saunders said. “We outfinished them, outhustled them, and flat out beat them.”

Minot is making its first trip to the state semifinals since 2006 when it won its lone title.

Weishaar finished with 16 saves for Minot, including four in the overtime periods.

“When Garrett is on he is a tough guy to score on,” Saunders said. “He was solid and the whole defense played solid.”

Note: Because Love is a senior and only two games remain in his soccer career, he will serve the other two games of the suspension the following two weeks in football. Love is an all-state kicker for the Magicians.

The MHS football team hosts Jamestown tonight and concludes its regular season with games against region powers Century and Bismarck.