Soccer: Griffin twins celebrate birthday sparking Elks’ 6-2 win at Brainerd

Jordan and Brandon Griffin combined for three goals on their birthday as the Elk River-Zimmerman soccer team beat the Brainerd Warriors 6-2 Saturday in Brainerd.

Storm Heyer added a goal and two assists, and Ryan Stefano and Grant Tesdahl had the other goals, as the Elks improved to 2-0 with both over section rivals.

“It was the Griffin twins’ birthdays so it was nice to see them get on the board,” noted coach Aaron Lindquist about the two Ziimmerman seniors.

The Elks launched more than 30 shots, with 16 of them on goal, while limiting Brainerd to  five shots on goal.

The game was played in a high heat index and 30 mph gusts of wind forcing water breaks at the 20-minute mark in each half.

Brainerd scored first, on a header off a counter-attack, in the eighth minute, but Jordan Griffin knotted the score a minute later, with a shot from just inside the 18 yard marker. Tesdahl scored with a nice individual effort and Heyer drilled a 20-yard shot to make it 3-1 before halftime.

“When there are goals given up, we always are working to fix them,” said Lindquist. “I was happy with our quick response after Brainerd opened the scoring.”

Jordan Griffin scored again early in the second half on a play the team worked in in a practice this week — moving the ball from their right outside defender in their own half, to their left wing on the opponent’s 18-yard box, to Griffin for the shot.

Brainerd cut the lead to 4-2 off an Elk miscue but Brandon Griffin scored after making a good read and Stefano made it 6-2 with a breakaway goal off a dish from Heyer.
Stefano and Trevor Reibel also had assists.

The Elks will host Spring Lake Park on Thursday evening.