BAXTER — They didn’t lose, but the Brainerd Warriors weren’t happy Tuesday.
For the second straight Central Lakes Conference game, the Warriors’ hopes for victory were deflated to a tie. The latest — a 0-0 stalemate against the Sauk Rapids Storm at Southdale Fields.
Brainerd knew it was going to be a battle with top forwards Emily Beltran attending a religious camp and Hannah Lundstrom still out with injury. Their absence, however, didn’t affect Brainerd’s confidence.
“I think we just had to bring the same amount of intensity as usual,” said senior defender Angela Sausen. “Two people don’t make a team and we were able to put in other players. We all did our jobs. It was just a matter of not being able to get the ball in the net.”
The Warriors had chancesn — 16 of them. One of the best chances came on a corner kick in the extra frame. The ball sailed in front of the net, but the Sauk Rapids’ defense was as stalwart as Brainerd’s and Storm keeper Olivia Stockinger made all the saves.
“Our team is fantastic and we are well put together,” said Warriors head coach Ricky Lacerte. “Our chemistry is good and we built a team around each individual doing their job. And when you take away parts of that machine, sometimes it doesn’t finish the way you want it to. We have players whose job it is to finish for us and when they’re gone we have to fill those gaps and it’s not easy because we don’t train for that.
“But all-in-all we did a great job. Sauk Rapids has a great goalie.”
Brainerd’s defense held Sauk Rapids to just six shots on net, including none in the overtime. Heather Campbell made six saves for Brainerd for her second clean sheet of the early season.
“Our main game plan defensively was to mark up No. 13 (Nicole Partch),” said Sausen. “We heard she was their No. 1 goal scorer and she definitely was their best forward. So we always had someone marking up on 13. If she had the ball we had two people mark up on her. The main thing, though, was if one of us committed the others dropped and we had to really cover each other’s backs.”
After starting the season 2-0, Brainerd has suffered through two straight ties. It was the first tie for the Storm, who moved to 5-0-1 but remains atop the conference standings.
“They were a good team and I feel some of our players came in expecting to beat them,” said Sausen. “Once we saw them, though, we knew they were a very good team. Plus, they were very respectful, too. They were very nice.
“We’re getting sick of ties. We’re looking for a win.”
Sauk Rapids 0 0 0 — 0
Brainerd 0 0 0 — 0
Shots on goal: Brd 7 7 2 — 16, SR 5 1 0 — 6
Goalkeepers: Brd-Heather Campbell (6 saves); SR-Oliva Stockinger (16 saves)