The Bismarck girls soccer team and those who make money off wind generators were probably the only ones to appreciate the gusts that blew through the area Thursday night.
The Demons opted to go with the strong wind in the first half against the St. Mary’s Saints.
The decision paid off as the Demons used the wind to their advantage in a 4-2 victory at the Community Bowl.
The victory puts Bismarck in a tie with Minot for first place in the West Region standings. The loss leaves St. Mary’s knotted with Century for third place.
The Demons scored four straight goals with three coming in the first half.
“We had the wind, and we needed to utilize that in the first half,” Bismarck coach Brandi Harty said. “We wanted the wind so we could try to get up on them in the first half. St. Mary’s is a tough team, and it was great for our team to get three in the first half.”
The Demons didn’t take long to strike. Elizabeth Sukut scored unassisted just 4:39 into the game.
Bismarck didn’t waste any time padding its lead. Less than four minutes later, Darby Schmidt scored on a free kick.
Schmidt added the final tally for Bismarck in the first half on a corner kick with 33:02 elapsed.
“The wind was in our favor,” Schmidt said. “You have to control the ball so it doesn’t go.
“Both of them were lucky goals. I wasn’t planning to score on either one.”
Bismarck proved it could score against the wind in the second half. MacKayla Feeney, assisted by Andrea Ferguson, scored with 57:06 gone to give the Demons their final goal and a 4-0 lead.
The Demons were able to convert on set pieces.
“We were able to get those set pieces, and that is one thing we have really been trying to work on,” Harty said. “It was wonderful to see our girls finally put some in the back of the net.”
The Saints added two second half goals to avoid getting shut out. Sydney Miller, unassisted, scored St. Mary’s first goal with 62:37 gone. Taylor Peterson, assisted by Miller on a corner kick, added the final tally with 69:13 off the clock.
The Saints were unable to utilize the wind like the Demons did.
“We just didn’t pull on trigger,” St. Mary’s coach Tim Mueller said. “We didn’t have a good connection from our forwards to midfield.
“When Bismarck scored, we went a little flat. Usually we come out fast after we give up a goal.”
Sara Bachmeier picked up seven saves for Bismarck, picking up two in the first half and five in the second.
Rachel Power played in between the pipes for the Saints. Power recorded four saves in the first half and one in the second for five.
First half: 1. B, Elizabeth Sukut (unassisted), 4:39. 2. B, Darby Schmidt (unassisted), 8:15. 3. B, Schmidt (unassisted), 33:02.
Second half: 4. B, MacKayla Feeney (Andrea Ferguson), 57:06. 5. SM, Sydney Miller (unassisted), 62:37. 6. SM, Taylor Peterson (Miller), 69:13.
Goal keepers: SM — Rachel Power 4-1—5. Sara Bachmeier 2-5—7.
Yellow cards: None. Red cards: None.
Records: SM 2-1-0 West Region, 4-1-1; B 3-1-0, 4-2-1.