BAXTER -- It's an unattractive job with a modest name but not many play it better than Jessie Rosenthal.
The Brainerd Warrior senior is a sweeper. She doesn't use a broom but two powerful legs and she loves knocking away opposing teams' trash.
Tuesday at Southdale Fields the captain and her defense discarded wayward passes and thwarted attacks helping the Warrior girls' soccer team to a 3-1 Central Lakes Conference victory over the St. Cloud Apollo Eagles.
Rosenthal's leadership held Apollo to just one shot on goal in the first half, which keeper Becka Gellert gathered.
"Between me and Becka we organize the field," said Rosenthal, a three-year player. "We help out our teammates and tell them where they have to go."
Brainerd's Jenny Beilke and Danielle Uphoff eased the pressure on Brainerd's defense.
In the 17th minute, Beilke had an open shot in the front, left side of the goal. The junior fired for the right top corner and the ball bent around Apollo keeper Jacquie Hartman for a 1-0 lead.
"I've been trying to get my forwards to be a little more self-centered," said Warrior coach Steve Kimble. "And Dani and Jenny have done that. Jenny saw some space and she's got just a cannon on her. She turned and fired it and their goalie is 6-foot- trillion but Jenny beat her on that high, far ball."
In the 30th minute, Taylor Hartje's cross-field pass found Uphoff, who fended off defenders and beat Hartman for a 2-0 first half lead.
"We really hit the goal hard to get an attack on right away," said Rosenthal. "It's a really nice buffer to have when we get up early."
Meanwhile, Brainerd's defense helped keep the offensive attack going. Apollo would clear the ball out of its zone only to see it go right back in thanks to Rosenthal and her defensive cohorts.
Apollo did capitalize on one good second half look. After a missed header, Gellert misjudged the distance between her and the ball. Apollo's Kelsey Bomgaars beat her to it and fired a shot past her.
"We play a diamond defense where we really stay compacted and shift to whatever side the ball is on," Rosenthal said. "So when they cross the field like that it gets really tough. We often go one-on-one on the back side and it was just a real nice ball. It went over our side defender's head and the keeper came out and they got an open look."
In Brainerd's three losses the defense gave up five goals. In its 12 wins its only given up seven goals with seven shutouts. Only once has a team scored more than two goals against Brainerd, a 5-3 win over Willmar.
"Our defense has been solid and that's something I've advertised since day one," said Kimble. "They're starting to get real confident.
"The last three games I've seen Jessie play, have ultimately been the top of her game. The best soccer she's played. She controls things and she's looked calm doing it."
St. Cloud Apollo 0 1 -- 1
Brainerd 2 1 -- 3
First half -- 1, B-Jenny Beilke (unassisted) 17:36; 2, B-Danielle Uphoff (Taylor Hartje) 30:12
Second half -- 3, SCA-Kelsey Bomgaars (unassisted) 50:20; 4, B-Beilke (Beth Sexton) 64:46
Shots on goal -- B 10-1-- 24; SCA 1-1 -- 2
Goaltenders -- B Becka Gellert (1 save); SCA-Jacquie Hartman (21 saves)
Conference -- B 10-2, SCA 2-5-4. Overall -- B 12-3, SCA 2-8-6. Next game -- Brainerd at St. Cloud Tech 5 p.m. Thursday.
Brainerd Dispatch ©2013. All Rights Reserved.