BAXTER -- If there is a better unbeaten and unranked girls' soccer team in Minnesota than the Brainerd Warriors let it stand up and be recognized.
The Warriors rolled to their seventh straight Central Lakes Conference victory, their ninth overall, with an emphatic 10-0 victory over the fledgling Willmar Cardinals at Southdale Field in Baxter.
Senior midfielder Sarah Eiesland thought Thursday's win made a statement, that the Warriors are a force to be reckoned with following last year's Section 8, Class 2A runner-up finish.
"We hope to get a little farther this year," Eiesland said. "It's our senior year, and we would like to go to state. That would be our main goal, to win the conference, then go to state."
Warriors coach Steve Kimble said it will take a victory over a team like defending section champion Moorhead at home next Saturday to get noticed.
"We have to beat somebody that counts, we have to show up and beat somebody like Moorhead handily," Kimble said. "We don't really play a lot of people like that on our schedule.
"It is hard to get ranked. Are we deserving? That's hard to say. We're good. We will certainly be one of the top few teams in the state."
The Warriors played like one Thursday, thoroughly dominating Willmar, and allowing one shot on goal. Brainerd surged to a 6-0 first-half lead and replaced senior keeper Melissa Hanson at the 23:52 mark with sophomore Erin Olejnicak.
"That's the first time Melissa has been off the field in two years," Kimble said. "She's played every minute of every game. It's rare that she comes off."
Willmar registered its one shot in the first half. The Warriors have allowed just five goals all season and have shut out five opponents.
"Our defense is solid," Kimble said, "but I don't know if they really have been tested. It's been almost kind of scary because they're not getting consistent enough work.
"If somebody shows up and tears right through us we might get a little distraught, but we knew our defense would be solid. It won't be easy to score on us."
Danielle Uphoff, Kelly Rosenthal and Laura Baden each scored twice for the Warriors. Megan Bates, Aani Rangen, Emily Lorenz and Megan Zillmer each pumped in one.
Baden, who also collected two assists, said the Warriors must approach every opponent the same way, regardless of record. Willmar entered the contest 2-8-0 overall.
"When we play games that we pretty much know that we'll be ahead, we have to keep our focus and still play well," Baden said. "We can't slack off, we've got to keep going, play as hard as we can, play 100 percent every game."
Willmar 0 0 -- 0
Brainerd 6 4 -- 10
Warriors 10, Willmar 0
The key: Brainerd scored six goals in the first half and outshot the Cardinals 28-1 in the contest.
Conference: Brd 7-0-0, Will 1-7-0.
Overall: Brd 9-0-0, Will 2-9-0.
Next: Brainerd at Sartell 5 p.m. Monday.
First half -- B-Megan Bates (Megan Zillmer) 12:26; B-Danielle Uphoff (Laura Baden) 13:38; B-Kelly Rosenthal (Megan Bates) 15:24; B-Baden (Nicole Millette) 19:43; B-Rosenthal, 26:21; B-Aani Rangen (Baden) 30:20
Second half -- B-Uphoff, 43:42; B-Baden, 51:49; B-Emily Lorenz (Millette) 52:17; B-Zillmer (Alyssa Wiebusch) 68:18
Shots on goal -- Will 1-0--1; Brd 17-11--28
Goalies -- Will, Callie Nelsen (18 saves); Brd, Melissa Hanson (1 save in first 23:52), Erin Olejnicak (0 saves in last 56:08)
MIKE BIALKA can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 855-5861.
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