Girls Varsity Soccer · Sabres Capture Section 8A Championship

1 Bemidji High School
2 Sartell High School
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Bemidji High School vs Sartell High School
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The Sartell women’s soccer team are section 8A champions! The Sabres faced off against a familiar post-season foe taking on the Bemidji Lumberjacks on Saturday afternoon. Sartell was defeated by Bemidji in penalty kicks in 2018 in the section final and lost a 1-0 game in 2017 against Bemidji in the section semi-final. The game in 2020 was a fast paced and physical battle from the beginning. The match quickly became a game of runs with both teams creating chances and controlling the game for 10-15 minute intervals. In the 20th minute a controversial ruling by the official resulted in a Bemidji penalty kick which was converted by senior Peyton Oerlich to give the Lumberjacks a 1-0 lead. The remainder fo the game continued much like the first half with both teams creating chances and both defenses coming through to deny goals. The Sabres defense led by seniors Lauren Jaenisch, Lauren Schmitz, and Hannah Hackenmueller along with senior goalkeeper Chloe Swanson turned in a fantastic performance throughout the match. The pressure from the Sartell attack mounted in the final 20 minutes as the Sabres pushed additional players into the attack. Finally in the 87th minute Chloe Turner broke through the Bemidji back line, her shot was saved by the Bemidji’s Keira Nelson but the sophomore keeper couldn’t hold it and the rebound fell to senior Sophie Speckhard who buried the loose ball to equalize for Sartell. The late goal forced overtime, where neither team was able to net a game winner. In the ensuing best of 5 penalty shootout the Sabres and Jacks each converted on their first two kicks from the mark. Bemidji’s Nelson was able to save Sartell’s third kick but Sartell’s Chloe Swanson made a save of her own on Bemidji’s next kick to keep the score level at 2-2. Both teams converted on their fourth kicks. Sartell’s Hailey Eibes converted on Sartell’s fifth kick and Bemidji’s attempt to extend the shootout pushed wide. The section title was Sartell’s first since 2015 and came as the program says goodbye to twelve graduating seniors.