BEMIDJI — Emily Beltran booted in two goals and collected an assist for the unbeaten Brainerd Warriors as they shut out Bemidji 3-0 in a non-conference game Saturday.
Ally Smith scored the other goal for Brainerd and Madeline Hastings added an assist.
Warriors goalie Heather Campbell saved all five shots that Bemidji fired at her.
“I was extremely pleased to see the girls manage their own game,” Warriors coach Ricky Lacerte said. “It shows myself and (assistant coach ) Sara Rojas that they understand the game and have learned to appreciate one another’s strengths and weaknesses.
“The first half was up in the air and Bemidji had a strong offensive strategy that exploited our defense right off the get-go. They scored in the first eight seconds of the game but they were called offside. Sometimes luck plays a huge part in the outcome of the game, but after that we played 79 minutes of Warrior soccer.”
Lacerte said the Warriors still have several key players out with injuries, including Hannah Lundstrom and Karlie Nelson.
“But the team continues to adapt to our current strategy and continues to put balls in the back of the net,” he said. “The second half belonged to us because we were stronger, faster and in better shape. Bemidji’s midfield and defense gave us too much space and we exploited it, but that is not to say (Bemidji) didn’t have their chances. In the last five minutes of the game they had two or three chances at wide-open goals but shot the ball above the crossbar.”
Brainerd 0 3 — 3
Bemidji 0 0 — 0
Second half: Brd-Ally Smith (Emily Beltran) 42:02, Brd-Emily Beltran 55:16, Brd-Emily Beltran (Madeline Hastings) 67:01
Shots on goal: Brd 10, Bem 5
Goalkeepers: Brd-Heather Campbell (5 saves); Bem-Cassidy Morris (7 saves)
Overall: Brd 5-0-3. Next: St. Cloud Tech vs. Brainerd at Baxter 5 p.m. Tuesday.