WEST FARGO — West Fargo Sheyenne picked up a victory over Fargo Davies for the first time in the young program's history.
The Mustangs notched a 2-0 win over the Eagles in an Eastern Dakota Conference boys soccer battle Thursday night at Essentia Health Mustangs Stadium. Of the seven times the teams faced each other prior to Thursday's contest, Sheyenne tied Davies once and lost the other six.
"The boys played hard," Mustangs head coach Jon Melendez-Soloaga said of the match. "And we wanted it because we know how tight the EDC is right now. We needed these points to keep accumulating to climb up the table."
The Mustangs tallied the first goal of the game with six minutes to go in the first half, thanks to a free kick netted by junior forward Kayden Aberle. Sheyenne held on to the 1-0 lead heading into the second half.
Three minutes into the second half, Davies forward Mohammed Ali's goal was called off, and the Eagles still trailed by a goal.
Sheyenne junior midfielder Anas Mohamed fired past junior goalkeeper Jensen Waltz to give the Mustangs a 2-0 lead five minutes into the final half. The score was assisted by junior defender Jackson Kuznia.
Waltz had a huge back-to-back saves for the Eagles at the 22 minute mark, blocking a Sheyenne rebound attempt on top of Aberle's initial kick. The junior goalkeeper recorded 13 saves for Davies. Sheyenne's sophomore keeper Cooper Svaleson tallied four.
The Mustangs rode the momentum out until the final seconds. For the first time since the program's inception in 2016, Sheyenne defeated Davies.
Sheyenne's victory rose the Mustangs to 6-1-5 overall and 5-1-5 in the EDC. Davies dropped to 6-3-4 and 5-2-4.
Melendez-Soloaga was pleased with how his team performed.
"We trained well yesterday," he said. "We knew what they (Davies) were going to present. We just performed and executed."
And the victory was even sweeter because it landed on Sheyenne's senior night.
"It feels real special. Special as a group that it was a really big win for us," senior midfielder and four-year starter Hussein Mohamed said. "This one is a really big boost for us going ahead for the state tournament and next week."
"We just played for each other like we always do," Hussein Mohamed said. "Everyone was giving 110%. We were going for the ball every time. We were more hungry than they were."
The Mustangs, who went 3-10-3 last fall, are already ahead of where they were last year with four games still to play this regular season. With Thursday's victory, Sheyenne has more than doubled its 2018 wins. Davies, the reigning EDC champions, went 13-2-2 last year and recorded a second-place finish at the state tournament.
Thursday's game was the second time the Eagles and Mustangs met this season. Sheyenne fell 3-2 to Davies earlier this fall.
The Eagles came off of a 1-0 loss to Grand Forks Red River (5-3-4, 4-2-4 EDC) on Tuesday, Sept. 17, heading into the game. Sheyenne played to a 1-1 draw with Fargo South (7-2-2, 6-2-2 EDC) that same night.
Davies next plays West Fargo High School at home at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 26. The Eagles and Packers played to a 0-0 draw when they faced each other earlier this season.
Sheyenne will face another EDC opponent in Grand Forks Central (8-4, 6-4 EDC) on the road at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 24. The Mustangs edged the Knights earlier this season in a 1-0 win over Central.
"We have a great team in front of us," Melendez-Soloaga said. "Really tough, so it'll be another battle. We need to get some points out of that game."