BAXTER — Emily Beltran recorded a hat trick and Brainerd limited Watertown-Mayer to four shots on net while blasting 25 as the Warriors ended the regular season Saturday with a 6-2 win over the Royals.
Beltran scored once in the first half and twice in the second. Ally Smith added a goal and assist while Shayna Vastila and Molly Palm provided the other Warrior goals.
Katie Heilman scored in the first minute for the Royals, who finish the regular season 9-6.
“Watertown-Mayer is an up and coming program, as far as I am concerned,” Warriors coach Ricky Lacerte said. “This is their coach’s first year and prior to this they had only three wins in the past several seasons. This speaks volumes to me as a coach and since they scored on us in less than a minute they had me worried.
“Our team pulled together for one last regular-season game to pull off a big win. We moved the ball well and without a doubt managed the game very well. I know for many of these girls this was their last regular-season game with the Warriors but they played it just like any other.”
Brainerd finishes regular-season play 10-1-3 and should receive one of the top seeds in the Section 8-2A quarterfinals, which begin Thursday.
“I am proud of them and I am proud of the season they earned,” Lacerte said. “Winning conference was one of my first goals, and for a moment I had a chance to relax and enjoy this small feat, but now it’s off to sections to test our resolve.
“I am hoping for a first or second seed, allowing us to bring the game back home. The weather will continue to play a factor in the up and coming games but we will prep for it.”
Watertown-Mayer 1 1 — 2
Brainerd 3 3 — 6
First half: WM-Katie Heilman 0:40; Brd-Ally Smith (Jenny Hendrickson) 2:14; Brd-Emily Beltran (Ally Smith) 17:16; Brd-Shayna Vastila 32.36
Second half: Brd-Beltran 49:52; Brd-Beltran 60:38; Brd-Molly Palm PK 65:10; WM-Allison Anderson 77:37
Shots on goal: WM 3-1—4, Brd 15-10—25
Goalkeepers: WM-Lexy Heldt (19 saves); Brd-Heather Campbell (2 saves)
Overall: Brd 10-1-3. Next: Brainerd in Section 8-2A quarterfinals Thursday vs. TBA.