Worth the wait

Two weeks after its regularly scheduled home opener, the Minot High girls soccer team finally got an opportunity to play its first home game, even if it wasn’t at Optimist Sports Complex.

The Majettes looked right at home at Herb Parker Stadium on Tuesday, defeating Jamestown 4-0. Junior forward Taryn Love scored twice to lead Minot (6-0 overall, 4-0 West Region).

“We started March 26 and here we are over a month later playing a home game,” Minot coach Matt Pfau. “It’s a nice facility when we play here and the girls played well tonight.”

Love continued her torrid scoring pace, netting the game’s first goal in the sixth minute. Junior forward Teasha Hughes found Love with a through ball from midfield and Love outraced the Blue Jay defense en route to a breakaway goal.

“Having my speed helps a lot, but having a good through ball really affects it,” Love said. “They hit them perfectly to where I can run on it. It’s not too far, not too short. The midfielders really work hard for those and really set up a lot of goals.”

Hughes put Minot up 2-0 in the 16th minute, knocking in a rebound in front of the net. Love nearly recorded her second goal of the contest, but Jamestown goalkeeper Haley Hillstrom made the initial save moving to her right. The rebound came to a wide-open Hughes, who tapped it into the empty net for her third goal of the season.

“We did really good tonight,” Hughes said. “We have a lot of stuff to improve on and we get better every game. We had good looks to the net and good runs.”

Hillstrom couldn’t stop Love’s next shot, a beautifully placed ball into the top left corner of the cage to give the Magicians a three-goal lead at halftime. Love leads the team with seven goals, five of which have come against the Blue Jays (0-5, 0-3) in two meetings this season. She had an opportunity to record her second hat trick, but Hillstrom came up with a save in the 43rd minute on a shot from inside the box.

“I was trying,” Love said. “I didn’t want to be selfish. I scored twice and I wanted to get girls who sit varsity but don’t play very often involved. I want to get them going, get them fired up and give them their chance to shine.”

Junior defender Malena Lennon provided Minot’s fourth goal in the 50th minute, coming up from her usual back row position to join in the Majettes’ convincing victory. Minot has outscored Jamestown 9-0 this season.

“We’ve had some success against them the past couple years and the girls know if they play well they’re going to have opportunities to finish,” Pfau said.

Minot’s defense made for an easy night for junior goalkeeper Kaitlyn Stenberg, who faced just one shot to record her fifth shutout of the season and fourth straight. Stenberg has allowed one goal in six starts this year.

Hillstrom finished with 19 saves.

The Majettes travel to Century on Thursday at 8 p.m.

Mike Kraft covers Minot High athletics. Follow him on Twitter @MKraft24_MDN.