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Thom's two goals lift Davies to opening-round soccer win

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Fargo Davies' Harrison Thom celebrates after scoring the second goal during Thursday's North Dakota state soccer tournament opening-round game in Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden / Forum News Service2 / 3
Fargo Davies' Mohamed Ali hits a header as Mandan's Kenneth Brako and Davies' Grant Wiemken look on during Thursday's North Dakota state soccer tournament in Grand Forks. photo by Eric Hylden / Forum News Service3 / 3

GRAND FORKS — Harrison Thom got hot at the right time for Fargo Davies.

The senior center defender scored a pair of goals Thursday at Cushman Field. That was all the offense as Davies defeated Mandan 2-0 in the opening game of the North Dakota high school boys state soccer tournament.

For Thom, the one game doubled his career scoring output. He had one goal this season and two in his three seasons as an Eagles regular.

"If somebody had told me I'd do that before the tournament, I would have laughed. I wouldn't have believed it,'' Thom said. "I don't get many scoring opportunities.''

Thom scored just 5 minutes, 27 seconds into the game on a header in front of the net off an Andrew Thomas corner kick.

With 1:05 remaining in the first half, Thom tracked down the ball in a crowd in front of the net and buried his short-range shot for a 2-0 lead.

"We don't expect Harrison to be our goal scorer,'' Davies coach Ian Costello said."But we'll take any scoring we can get. He doesn't get up the field too often, except on corner kicks. He's our tallest guy, so we make sure he's in the box. Andy gave him a heckuva corner kick. On the second one, he cleaned it up down low and got a garbage goal.''

The two goals stood up as Davies dominated in ball possession. Eagles goalie Noah Sahr didn't have a single save.

Colton Scheetz had 13 saves for the Braves.

"Davies is an excellent team,'' Mandan coach Stephen Weston said. "We had to limit their goals. Defensively we played well. We just couldn't generate any offense.''

Davies improved to 14-2-2 while Mandan dropped to 6-8-0.

Bismarck 3, Grand Forks Central 2 (ot)

Grand Forks Central's bid for its first boys state soccer championship ended Thursday in overtime. The Knights dropped a 3-2 decision to Bismarck High in the quarterfinals of the North Dakota boys high school soccer tournament at Cushman Field.

Michael Matthews took a long pass from Caden Evanson and scored the game-winner for the Demons with 42 seconds left in the first overtime.

"Caden played (Matthews) an unbelievable ball,'' Bismarck coach Andy Foss said. "He's been trying that pass all season and hasn't connected. It was a good time for it to work. And Mike played a good ball over the goalie.''

Central forced overtime with 10:12 left in regulation. William Lawson-Body scored his 12th goal of the season from close range, tying the score at 2-2.

"He was just crashing the net,'' Central coach George DuBois said. "I thought he caused some chaos. The second half and early in the overtime, I thought we assered ourselves more, generating more scoring opportunities.''

Bismarck goalie Easton Ford had three saves in the final two minutes of regulation to keep Bismarck alive.

Bismarck, the No. 2 seed from the West Region, improved to 11-3-2 and will play Fargo Davies in a 4:30 p.m. semifinal game Friday. Central, the No. 3 seed from the East Region, dropped to 10-6-1 and will play Mandan in a loser-out game at noon Friday.