Soccer: Elk boys trip Maple Grove 3-1

Two goals by Valdez Nelson and stout team defense helped the Elk River Elks beat a good Maple Grove team 3-1 on a windy Tuesday evening in Maple Grove.

Max Riebel scored in the first half, assisted by Ryan Ness, on a free kick in the 25th moment, which was the team’s first shot on goal, playing into the wind.

Valdez scored twice in the second half for the Elks (3-6-1). The junior forward played a nice through ball from Ness into his first goal. He later scored on his own rebound after getting free for a one-on-one shot that the goalie thwarted.

Maple Grove (6-3-1) scored on a penalty shot by Andrew Bruness in the 74th minute.

Coach Tom Olson praised goalie Cody Christ for an “amazing” performance, moving deftly to control shots as Maple Grove applied pressure in the first half with the wind at their backs. He added that Grant Testdahl did a good job marking one of the Maple Grove’s top players while Gavin Doppler and Josh Chuba were solid in the center of the defense.

“We played great team defense with several players stepping up to clear dangerous balls and shut down dangerous runs,” said Olson.

The Elks will host Park Center on Thursday, 5 p.m.