Davies uses scoring burst to upend Sheyenne, repeat as N.D. state girls soccer champions
BISMARCK—In this, the North Dakota state girls soccer tournament marked by lightning and wind, Fargo Davies struck like a thunderbolt to repeat as state champions.
With Saturday's state title game knotted 1-1, Davies rattled off goals by Anna Davison and Olivia Johnson in a span of 3 minutes, 19 seconds to take command with 14:43 to play.
The final tally was 4-1 for the Eagles, who outscored their three state tournament opponents 7-1.
Davies opened scoring in the title game at the MDU Resources Community Bowl with an own goal that bounced off a Sheyenne defender at 35:32. The goal was credited to the Eagles' Ali Matter.
Sheyenne drew even with 43 seconds to play in the first half, with Faith Tenold scoring on a low 15-foot shot through traffic from the left wing.
That's the way things stayed for nearly 23 minutes. Davison snapped the deadlock with 18:02 to play, taking a pass from Matter on the right wing and firing a 12-yard shot past Mustang goalkeeper Shelby Weber.
Just over three minutes later, Johnson made it 3-1, finding the range from amid a scrum in front of the net.
Johnson's score was a backbreaker. Megan Barnick applied a little frosting to the cake with 7:28 to play with the fifth and final marker of the game.
Davison, a senior, finished her final high school game with a goal and two assists. She said she really wanted to perform well in her last outing.
"I'd decided to play really hard. I'm not playing in college, so I wanted to give it my all," she said.
Davison plans to play golf in college at Southwest Minnesota State at Marshall.
Davies won 1-0 in the only previous meeting between the two teams on May 3, and Davison said she anticipated a similar struggle on Saturday.
"I expected much more. When we had the wind in the second half it helped us a lot," she said.
Davison took note of the Eagles backfield, which had a big hand in Davies' tight-fisted defensive play.
"We have very good defenders who know how to hold their ground," she said.
While winning Davies' first girls soccer state title last year was rewarding, Davison said this year had its own challenges.
"It's hard, because people have that motivation to beat us because we're state champions," she said.
Nick Christianson, the Davies head coach, said he wasn't counting on a three-goal spread at the outset of the championship match.
"Sheyenne is an amazing team," Christianson said. "They came back and tied it 1-1, but that's soccer. You've got to capitalize on the chances you get, and our girls definitely did that in the second half."
Sheyenne played the first half with a strong westerly wind gusting of more than 40 mph at its back, but the Mustangs were unable to build a lead in the first 40 minutes.
"The girls wanted to go against the wind and put all their energy into defense the first half," Christianson said. "We knew we'd get a couple of opportunities in the second half, and we needed to put them away."
Christianson, voted girls soccer coach of the year by his peers, said his team performed at a state championship level for 160 minutes on Saturday.
"We came out and played at a high level. It was just fun to watch," he said.
Davies advanced to the championship game with a 2-0 semifinal victory over Fargo North. Sheyenne edged Fargo Shanley 2-1 in overtime to reach the title game. Both semifinals were played Saturday morning after being postponed by lightning warnings on Friday night.
North bounced back to edge Shanley 2-1 for third place.
Davies finished the season with an 11-1-2 record, the only setback a shootout loss to North in the semifinals of the East Region tournament. Sheyenne, playing in its second state tournament in its third year of varsity soccer, closed the season 8-4-2.
FIRST HALF: 1. FD, Ali Matter (Anna Davison), own goal, 35:32. 2. WFS, Faith Tenold (unassisted), 49:17.
SECOND HALF: 3. FD, Davison (Matter), 61:58. 4. FD, Olivia Johnson (Alyssa Paper), 65:17. 5. FD, Megan Barnick (Davison), 72:32.
SAVES: FD, Breanna Nelson 7-1--8. WFS, Shelby Weber 1-6--7.
Fargo North 2, Fargo Shanley 1
FIRST HALF: No scoring.
SECOND HALF: 1. FN, Elise Bakke (unassisted), 60:27. 2. S, Hadley Huber (Abby Promersberger), 61:44. 3. FN, Abby Naseth (Abi Hoff), 65:36.
SAVES: FN, Alexis Jemtrud 5-2--7. SH, Molly Metzger 0-4--4.
Fargo Davies: Anna Davison, Kylie Glover, Brianna Nelson, Alyssa Paper. West Fargo Sheyenne: Yasmina Dokara, Madison Urlaub. Fargo North: Elise Bakke, Abby Naseth. Fargo Shanley: Tabby Kelsch, Emily Post. Minot: Allison Lepp, Emme Miller. St. Mary's: Elizabeth Preszler. Mandan: Olivia Geiger.
Senior athlete of the year: Madison Urlaub, West Fargo Sheyenne.
Coach of the year: Nick Christianson, Fargo Davies.