Spearfish girls down SF O’G 4-1 in playoff opener

Spearfish’s Hanna Bjorkman, right, battles Sioux Falls O’Gorman opponent Aubree Dowling for the ball during Tuesday afternoon’s playoff game. Pioneer photo by Jason Gross

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SPEARFISH — Spearfish sidelined Sioux Falls O’Gorman 4-1 in Tuesday’s opening round of the Class AA girls’ soccer playoffs at the Black Hills Energy complex, in Spearfish.

“I think the biggest thing in the second half is, we just relaxed a little,” Spartans’ head coach Justin Griffith said. “In the first half, we were pressing a little bit, and we weren’t necessarily taking what the defense was giving us.”

Dillan Richards’ goal two minutes into the second half propelled fifth-seeded Spearfish to a 1-0 lead. The margin reached 2-0 just three minutes later when Brooke Peotter scored a goal off a deflection.

Spearfish used a pair of Hanna Bjorkman goals to extend its advantage to 4-0. The latter score occurred with 14 minutes 41 seconds to go.

Sioux Falls O’Gorman, the number 12 seed, avoided the shutout with 21 seconds left when Auburn Brenner drove to the left side and scored a goal. That produced the 4-1 final.

“We just kept our heads a bit better. We saw where the space was; we started possessing the ball a lot better,” Griffith said in explaining Spearfish’s second-half success. He added that patience allowed the team to move the ball forward.

Griffith went on to say that Spearfish’s defense played well and made good decisions on the back line.

The Spartans (11-3) will take an eight-game winning streak into Saturday’s second-round game at Rapid City Stevens. The fourth-seeded Raiders (10 wins, two losses, one tie) toppled number 13 seed Yankton 3-0 in a Tuesday first-round game.

Spearfish and Rapid City Stevens met Sept. 30 in Spearfish, with the Spartans prevailing 2-1.

“Stevens is a heck of a team,” Griffith said in looking ahead. “We’re just going to have to continue to play our game and try to capitalize on the things that we do well.”

Tuesday’s other first-round games follow.

No. 1 Aberdeen Central 6, No. 16 Brookings 1

No. 9 Watertown 2, No. 8 Harrisburg 0

No. 2 Brandon Valley 3, No. 15 Sturgis Brown 1

No. 10 Sioux Falls Roosevelt 1, No. 7 Pierre 0

No. 3 Sioux Falls Lincoln 1, No. 14 Sioux Falls Jefferson 0

No. 6 Rapid City Central 5, No. 11 Mitchell 2

Second-round matchups for Saturday follow.

Watertown (8-7 record) at Aberdeen Central (12-1)

Spearfish (11-3) at Rapid City Stevens (10-2-1)

Sioux Falls Roosevelt (5-5-2) at Brandon Valley (12-1-1)

Rapid City Central (10-3) at Sioux Falls Lincoln (10-3)

Third-round games are set for Tuesday, Oct. 12.

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