Sep. 19—DICKINSON — Starting the season with a five game losing streak, Dickinson High School’s soccer team have turned the tides and gained momentum.
They recorded their second win of the season at home against Bismarck Century on Saturday, scoring one goal in the first half and holding back a tying shot. The 1-0 shutout was a bit of revenge for them, having been shutout by the Patriots earlier in the season. The Midgets currently hold a 2-6-2 record as they move closer into the later stages of the season.
The goal was scored by junior Zach Nodland in the 20th minute of the first half. Nodland gave all the credit to the well-timed pass from his senior midfielder Francis Kouda. Kouda dribbled the ball past two Patriots before sending a central through pass to Nodland, shooting the ball out of reach of the goal keeper and into the net.
“It was a very amazing goal, that is what I want to say,” Kouda said. “I just got the ball from the back and I dribbled over I think two players and passed the through pass to Zach here.”
The Midgets continued to have shots on target against Century in the second half, totaling 14, and held the majority of possession in Patriots’ territory. However, there was also a great emphasis on their backline deflating incoming attacks and dismissing crosses.
Junior goalie Rupert Deniz controlled the tempo, with good catches and had four saves in the game despite coming off of an injury in their away game against Jamestown. Deniz had only six minutes in the match against the Blue Jays when he suffered a kick to the back that would not see him return between the sticks until their game against Bismarck Century on Saturday in a move symbolic of his team’s grit.
“As a team we had some goals and some things to work on and really the main goal is to take it to the next level or hold it in the last 5 or 10 minutes in the halves in the game and today we did,” Angie Shilman, DHS head coach, said. Lots of progress this season.”
The two ties they recorded earlier in the season were just as important as the wins. The first being against a formidable Minot team, who are third in the conference. They also collected a tie against Bismarck High, a team that they are battling in the middle of the pack.
Dickinson’s first win, against the Mandan Braves that ended 4-3, was without question a heart-pumping matchup with a dramatic backdrop of rain coming down. The first half ended tied at 1, while the second half would have a total of five goals scored. Kouda and Nodland both made contributions on the offense in the second half, Kouda scoring his brace to win the match.
“When it’s mid season it is hard to keep the momentum going but it is like we kind of turned the corner and are progressing still which is nice,” Shilman said. “It is nice to see solid defense and again when they communicate they are the system and team to watch. It is phenomenal.”
The WDA standings are yet to completely settle, from the middle of the pack down and Dickinson’s schedule could allow for two or three or more wins in the season. As long as the Midgets continue to be effective in their communication and finding creative ways to score.
“We have had a bit of team bonding and it has definitely worked,” Nodland said. “I think we could definitely make state by just doing the simple things right and not breaking down at the wrong time.”