Blake senior forward Will Mortenson scores the game's first goal with a pass from teammate Jake Shapiro. The Bears went on to win the game beating the Eagles 4-0 at the Gordy Aamoth stadium in Hopkins. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
As the defending state champion in Class 1A, Blake has a big target on its back. That hasn’t bothered the Bears in the slightest.
After starting their season with an 8-1 win over Fridley and a 10-1 win against Spring Lake Park, the Bears (7-0-0, 4-0-0) began an even more impressive defensive run, shutting out each of their next four opponents while averaging just over eight goals per game entering Saturday’s contest against Rochester Lourdes at Blake’s Hopkins campus.
Blake’s defensive prowess was on display yet again against Rochester Lourdes, as the Eagles (3-2-0, 1-0-0) were unable to record a shot on net in Blake’s 4-0 win.
What have been some of the keys to running up a shutout streak that is now beyond the 400-minute mark?
“We try to have the ball a lot,” Blake coach Tamba Johnson said. “Our goal going into every game is to earn a shutout.”
Blake’s possession-heavy offense is fed by a defensive mindset taught by Johnson.
“We put pressure on people, and we try and get the ball back in six to 10 seconds,” Johnson said. “We take pride in not losing the ball, and if you do lose it, it’s your job to get it back. Effort is non-negotiable.”
The Bears Benji Pomonis scores the Bears second goal sending the ball pass the Eagles goalkeeper Jaxon Hopkins. Blake defeated Rochester Louder at home 4-0 on Saturday afternoon. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
It took Blake longer than usual has to break through offensively, but its potent offense and lock-down defense lived up to its reputation in a 4-0 win over Rochester Lourdes at William J. Glen Field at Blake’s Hopkins campus on Saturday afternoon.
The Bears (7-0-0, 4-0-0) entered the match averaging over eight goals per game and they pushed early. A pass from junior forward Jake Shapiro after a speedy charge into the box found senior forward Will Mortenson, who knocked home Blake’s first goal of the game.
The Bears, ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, added to their lead five minutes later, as Jackson Lagos’ rush on the Eagles’ net was finished off by Benji Pomonis.
Rochester Lourdes (3-2-0, 1-0-0) thought it had closed the gap late in the first half, but a momentary celebration after what the Eagles thought was a goal was cut short when it was disallowed by the officials, keeping Blake’s lead at 2-0 lead entering halftime.
A penalty shot goal by Keegan James 41 seconds into the second half, and an unassisted marker from Matt Carlson in the 72nd minute, completed Blake’s scoring output.
Rochester Lourdes goalie Jaxon Hopkins finished with eight saves, making some key stops on several dangerous Blake chances.
The Eagles' Daniel Brown takes the ball away from Blake's Matthew Carlson early in the second half. The Eagles lost to the Bears 4-0 Saturday afternoon in Hopkins. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
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