Soccer: Elk boys get clutch saves, beat Bison 1-0

Jeremy Carlson (8) and Ben Waletzko (24) of the Elks tangled with Buffalo’s Luke Folkerds. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

Two Elk River goalies made a clutch save apiece as the Elks held off the Buffalo Bison 1-0 on Saturday in Buffalo.

“Both teams played good defense, keeping things to the outside,” said Elk coach Tom Olson. “They made one mistake and we capitalized, and when we made a mistake, our goalie saved the day.”

Early in the second half, Elk starter Cody Christ got a yellow card when he came out of the box, lost control for an instant, and his leg struck a Buffalo forward’s shoulder. Backup Nick Bandescu had to face the penalty kick, and he made the stop.

In the final minute, the Bison had their last chance as they got a favorable deflection near the goal while an Elk defender got turned around on the play, allowing Joe O’Flanagan to rush the net and fire a shot that would have connected, but  Crist dived toward the ball and wrapped his hands around it.

Elk defender Josh Chuba clears the ball. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


The lone goal was scored by Storm Heyer in the first half. Buffalo’s defense misplayed the ball and Heyer jumped on it and beat the goalie, Elijay Etzel, with one touch.

The Elks are 2-0, having beaten Brainerd 2-1 on Thursday.

“We have not been two-and-oh for a while,” said Olson. “That feels good.”

The defensive effort was led by Josh Chuba, Odrey Bechtel and Jeremy Carlson in the back and Ben Waletzko in the middle, said the coach.

The Elks will host Wayzata on Tuesday, 7 p.m.