Soccer: Elk boys toughen up for first win 3-1 over Andover

Jeremy Carlson (right) got credit for this goal after Andover's Ben Nivala knocked the ball away too late; it had already crossed the plane. (Photo by Bob Burley)

by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Two goals by Jeremy Carlson, along with a more feisty attitude by the team, lifted Elk River-Zimmerman to its first victory, 3-0 over the Andover Huskies at home Thursday evening.

Storm Heyer had the other goal as the Elks improved to 1-1 in conference and 1-4 overall.

Grant Tesdahl (24) of the Elks and Eric Schwingler (13) of the Huskies jousted. (Photo by Bruce Strand)

Coach Tom Olson said the Elks had been doing the “cutesy” things well, such as passing, but had not been forceful enough physically.

“We were playing hard through the the ball tonight, and that frustrated (Andover),” said Olson.

Carlson, a junior defender, scored on a header in the first half, crashing the net, with Heyer assisting.

Heyer made it 2-0 early in the second half on a follow-up to his own missed shot. Ryan Ness got the assist.

Gavin Doppler of ERZ soared for a header. (Photo by Bob Burley)

The clincher was an unorthodox goal asĀ  Carlson took a through ball from Kaleb Orrock and punched it toward the net from about 35 yards out. Carlson and a Huskie defender chased the ball past the goalie, who came way out to try snuff the ball but was not in time. With the ball rolling into the mouth of the net, the defender booted it away, but the official ruled it had crossed the line.

Andover dropped to 3-3 for the year.

The Elk defensive crew of Gavin Doppler, Jordan Vasseur, Josh Chuba and Landon Werner kept the heat off goalie Cody Christ, except for early in the match when the Huskies went over the top a couple times and Christ came out block the shots.

ERZ will play at St. Michael-Albertville on Saturday at 1 p.m.