Midgets suffer narrow defeat against Jamestown at home
The Dickinson Midgets fell short against the Jamestown Blue Jays in a 1-0 loss, but their confidence on the field showed a team unwilling to throw in the towel.
DICKINSON — Nearing the end of a rough season, the Dickinson Midgets held a close line at home on Tuesday before ultimately suffering another defeat. Victory has eluded the Midgets in every game this season, but a week long inventory aimed at analyzing what's been holding the team back has prompted players to find cohesion at center pitch.
The boys challenged themselves over the week to improve ball handling and on-field communication, and vowed to create more opportunities on net.
A weeks worth of practice and fine tuning payed dividends and bore some fruit on Tuesday as the Midgets maintained possession of the ball for longer stretches and more frequently put efforts on net in their heated match against Jamestown. The home team had five shots on goal and held their opponents to four, but it would be the Blue Jays who would find the back of the net in a hotly contested pairing.
Senior goalkeeper and season stand-out Kaden Hintz kept six shots out of the back of the net with well-timed saves, including a laser free kick that would have foiled most keepers.
“I think with senior night, the team talked about going out big for the guys and they did. We set a couple of goals before the game and we met all of them,” Dickinson Head Coach Angie Shilman said. “Today, we showed that we are capable of doing that. We always were, but it doesn't always go our way.”
The Midgets have battled injuries through out the season, such as that of their all-around player Rupert Deniz. Dickinson kept to their 4-3-3 formation with some players changing positions on the pitch.
“We have a couple of guys that feel very comfortable switching around and moving around and we give them that freedom, because they can do their jobs and always get back,” Shilman said. “Dante [Oyugi] and Omar [Porras] switch back and forth a lot and even our forwards have been coming back and helping.”
In the first half, the Midgets held the majority of possessions with solid passing. When they did lose the ball, counter-attacks were quickly met with a high press defense.
“Justin Wardell was taking the ball and carrying it and Cooper Njos has been phenomenal this year on defense,” Shilman said. “I think his [Njos] first true passion would be offense, but he has been so good on defense, how can we not put you back there. Sometimes he has had more saves than anybody in the game.”
DHS No. 7 Rigo Lopez was active in both halves, but showed defensive qualities with several tackles made in the first. Early the second half the game remained at a stalemate until Blue Jay Henry Yolain scored on Hintz' left side.
Plenty of Dickinson’s shots were taken late in the game. Lopez made a wide run for a well-timed cross to senior Taj Blauer, but was the shot was wide of the post.
None of Dickinson's shots would find the net, except one taken by Hubert Niyimbona that was ruled offside by a close margin.
This extends the Midgets losing streak extends to five, as they did have one tie game against Bismarck Century in late August. Yet, the squad has come away with a better understanding of what they are capable of moving forward. They will be on the road for the rest of the season, with four games over the next 10 days.
“It was a good senior night, “ Shilman said. “Kaden had a good game, all our seniors had a good game. We played tonight as a team, we proved that we are still in it and that we can still do it.”