Mack scores as Century reaches title matchBismarck Century coach Joel Jahnke anticipated a veteran Fargo North team to be physical with his younger, smaller Patriots.
By: Tom Miller, Forum Communications Co.
GRAND FORKS — Bismarck Century coach Joel Jahnke anticipated a veteran Fargo North team to be physical with his younger, smaller Patriots.
The Spartans delivered on those expectations in a physical match that featured six yellow cards, two red cards and a handful of injury delays.
Century was up to the challenge.
Patriots sophomore Alec Rauhauser had a goal and two assists to give Century a 3-2 victory over North on Friday afternoon in the North Dakota state boys soccer tournament semifinals at South Middle School.
The Patriots advance to face West Fargo in the state championship at 3 p.m. today. North will play Fargo Shanley for third place at 1 p.m.
“The game got emotional for both teams,” Jahnke said. “(North) has 12 or 13 seniors and they got after it, but I thought we held our own.”
The Spartans took the majority of the cards. North received four yellow cards and two red cards, while Century had two yellow cards.
“We preached to stay composed,” Jahnke said. “This sport is emotional, especially when the loser is out of the state championship.”
Century’s decisive stretch came in a wild two-minute span in the second half.
The Patriots took a 2-1 lead at 59:42 when Rauhauser kicked in a rebound from a TJ Gunsch shot. Following the play, North goalkeeper Josh Nistler pushed a Patriots player to receive a red card.
Century took advantage of the situation about two minutes later when Austin Mack scored to make it 3-1. Mack plays for Century, but is a sophomore at Dickinson High School.
“There was a lot of confusion at that time,” North coach Jonahtan Melendez said. “This was a great battle, but there were some different factors that put a black mark on the game, with those red cards.”
The Spartans pulled to within 3-2 on a goal from Brant Baarstad at 67 :08. The Patriots, though, kept North at bay the rest of the way.
FIRST HALF: 1, FN, Sunnyboy Nyanfor (Tony Potts) 4:11.
SECOND HALF: 2, BC, TJ Gunsch (Alec Rauhauser) 43:46. 3, BC, Rauhauser (Gunsch) 59:42. 4, BC, Austin Mack (Rauhauser) 61:41. 5, FN, Brant Baarstad (Trevor Braeger) 67:08.
SAVES: BC, Jon Rings 3; FN, Josh Nistler 8.
Miller is a sports reporter for The Grand Forks Herald, which is owned by Forum Communications Co.