BAXTER -- The Brainerd Warrior boys' soccer team owns a three-game win streak.
It should be a six-game unbeaten streak, but because of an ineligible player the Warriors were forced to forfeit six victories and a tie. That player, who can now only play junior varsity, was one of Brainerd's most potent offensive threats.
But, in the last two wins, the Warriors haven't been light on offense. Brainerd scored three goals against Little Falls Monday and three more Tuesday for a 3-1 Central Lakes Conference victory over Sartell at Southdale Field.
For the second straight game Chris Comstock knocked in a header on a corner kick for a 3-0 lead. It was his second goal of the season and his first on Brainerd's home field.
"I've been waiting for this opportunity all year," said Comstock. "I've had plenty of chances to score and Nick's (Nathan) ball was perfect. Nick sent it in. It came right to my head and I just finished."
Brainerd's second goal came from Grant Gmeinder with its first coming of the foot of senior Angelo Polcaro.
"It was a nice cross (pass) from Nick Mangan," said Polcaro. "It went to Grant (Gmeinder), he shot it and it deflected off the goalie and I just buried the rebound."
Sartell's only conference victory was one of Brainerd's forfeits. The Warriors didn't want to give the Sabres two CLC wins.
"It was a crucial game that we felt we had to win," said Polcaro. "We had to keep our composure together on our team and play as hard as we could."
Despite the off-field turmoil, the Brainerd boys' team has kept its composure. Comstock believes it has pulled the players together.
Brainerd 3, Sartell 1
Key: Brainerd scored three early goals and cruised to the conference win
Conference: Brd 2-10-1 (6-5-2 excluding forfeits); Sar 1-10-2
Overall: Brd 3-13-1 (9-5-2 excluding forfeits); Sar 3-12-2
Next game: No. 6 Brainerd at No. 3 Alexandria in Section 8, Class 2A quarterfinals Saturday, TBA.
"This has brought us closer," said Comstock. "We're playing more as a team. We're not just looking for one individual. We're really starting to come together.
"Beginning of the season we weren't playing very well, but the last 13 games we went 9-2-2. It's really coming together now. I hope this carries into the playoffs."
The Section 8, Class 2A playoffs start Saturday with sixth-seeded Brainerd traveling to No. 3 Alexandria for a first-round game. The Warriors split with Alexandria during the regular season.
"We want revenge for what happened to us," said Polcaro. "This is driving us. We've lost a good player on our team so we've all had to step it up to get better. All of us have."
Sartell 0 1 -- 1
Brainerd 3 0 -- 3
First half -- Brd-Angelo Polcaro (Grant Gmeinder) 1:45; Brd-Gmeinder (Tim Lange) 25:54; Brd-Chris Comstock (Nick Nathan) 29:38
Second half -- S-Bryan Wick (Joshua Dornbush) 42:30
Shots on goal -- Brd 6-2 -- 8; Sar 5-3 -- 8
Goalkeepers -- Brd-Josiah Collins (7 saves); Sar-Nathan Sahli (2 saves); Michael Anderson (3 saves)
JEREMY MILLSOP can be reached at email@example.com or 855-5856.
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