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Mack, Pats advance at state boys soccer tourney semifinals

FARGO -- Austin Mack and the Bismarck Century boys soccer team is one step closer to defending its North Dakota state championship.

A play from an unexpected source helped Century earn the expected result Thursday at Sid Cichy Stadium as sophomore Jacob Richter scored the go-ahead goal late in the first half to help spark the Patriots to a 3-1 victory against Grand Forks Central in the first round of the North Dakota state tournament.

The top seed from the West Region, Century (13-2-1) advanced to the state semifinals. Mack, a Dickinson High senior who plays for the Patriots, did not score or have an assist in the game. Century faces West Fargo at 6 p.m. today in the semifinals.

Richter had scored one goal heading into the state tournament.

"I had to pinch myself to feel it was real," Richter said. "I didn't really think it was happening right there."

The No. 4 seed from the East, Central (6-12-2) looked like it would go into halftime tied with Century. Knights sophomore forward Hartrick Tarr scored at 35 minutes, 11 seconds to make it a 1-1 score. On the play, Tarr played the ball out of midair and clanged it off the post and into the net.

About four minutes later, however, Richter put the Patriots into the lead for good. Century midfielder Brad Kelly set up the play with a slick through ball that freed up Richter beyond the Central defense. Richter then chipped the ball past the Knights goalkeeper and into the net.

Senior midfielder Hunter Huff Towle scored midway through the second half that gave the Patriots a 3-1 lead.

FIRST HALF: 1, BC, Rauhauser (Eckroth) 14:54. 2, GFC, Tarr (Kramer) 35:11. 3, BC, Richter (Kelly) 39:21.

SECOND HALF: 4, BC, Huff Towle (Hanson) 60:38.

SAVES: GFC, Dachtler 5. BC, Buchholz 4.