The Hillcrest boys’ soccer team defeated the Fergus Falls Otters in the Section 8A quarterfinals matchup Thursday by the score of 8-1. The Comets scored seven minutes into the game, when striker Abram Ness, flicked the ball over Otters keeper, Leighton Buckmeier, off an assist from Simon Kleven (1-0). Four minutes later, Endre Økland, pressured the Otters backs and stole the ball scoring with a shot to the top-left corner of the net, unassisted (2-0). Thirty seconds later, Kleven attacked up the left side and placed a shot off the right post. Økland was there for the put back into the net (3-0). Midway through the half, Ness was taken down in the box and awarded a penalty kick, Økland took the honors and scored his third goal of the contest (4-0). With just 35 seconds remaining in the half, Økland, scored his fourth goal off an assist from Jiun Moon, ending the half with the Comets up 5-0.
Forty-nine minutes into the second half, Økland scored off an assist from Kleven (6-0). At 55 minutes Økland scored again off an assist from Ness (7-0), breaking a school record of six goals in a game! At the 65 minute mark, Comets “spark plug” eight-grader Drew Fischer placed a beautiful shot in the Otters net off a throw-in from Matthew Knutson (8-0). At 70 minutes, Otters Shane Zierden scored a goal, ending all scoring for the game with the Comets on top 8-1.
“I commend the Otters and head coach Joel Heikes on a great season. With the new MSHSL three-class system, I look forward to both our teams’ section play opportunities in the future,” said Comets head coach Rod Jensen. “Also, what can I say about Endre Økland? Every time he touched the ball today, he was shooting on goal and he converted on several, breaking an HLA school record for most goals in a single contest.”
The Comets now 12-4-1 face off against the No. 2 team in section 8A, Pelican Rapids High School, at 1 p.m. Saturday, in a semifinal matchup.