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Soccer finishes fourth in state

Randy Cernik, right, edges out Minot's Jacob Schmidt in the first round of the state soccer tournament on Thursday in Fargo. Michael Vosburg / Forum Communications Co.

The Packers' season drew to a close over the weekend, as they finished fourth in the North Dakota State soccer tournament at Sid Cichy Stadium at Fargo South.

In Thursday's quarterfinal match against Minot, the Packers got both of their goals from senior Lucas Miller and went on to win 2-1.

The Packers fell to Bismarck Century 1-0 in the semifinals on Friday.

"The reality was we had four losses on the season... and two were against century," Head Coach Doug Millar said. "You can't feel too bad about that."

The Packers met the Fargo South Bruins in the third place game on Saturday and once again got two goals from Miller, but ultimately lost 3-2 in overtime.

"Any time we lose to South in anything, even a coin flip, it's no fun," Millar said. "I think the Century game kind of took it out of us, and when our seniors realized they wouldn't be playing for a championship, they just weren't up for it."

The Packers ended the season 14-5-2 overall and 9-2-1 (19 points) in the Eastern Dakota Conference. They ended up with 67 goals on the season, while only allowing 16 goals.

"It was a revolving door on defense this year, but we still only gave up 16 goals," Millar said. "That's pretty outstanding."

On the season, the team was led by Miller, who scored 22 goals on the year and 14 assists.

The Packers will lose 14 seniors for next year's team, but Millar is optimistic in the team he will have.

"It's a bugger to see them go, but it happens every year," Millar said. "The leadership is going to be missed, but they've done a good job of mentoring the younger guys, and we have a gob of sophomores coming up. We are going to be young, but we are going to be talented. We've got kids dedicated to this sport."

The Packers will hold a banquet on Monday at 6 p.m. at the Sheyenne Ninth Grade Center.