East Grand Forks scored a pair of goals late in the first half and two more early in the second, as they beat the Crookston Pirate Boy’s Soccer team, 4-0, on Thursday evening at the East Grand Forks Senior High Soccer Field. 

1st half
East Grand Forks got plenty of looks at the goal early on, but the Pirates’ defense held strong for the first 30 minutes, keeping the score knotted at 0-0. Inside the final 10 minutes of the first half, the Green Wave found the goal for the first time. Senior striker Hamse Ismail scored on an unassisted goal at the 31:27 mark, giving East Grand Forks its first lead. Just over five minutes later, Ismail found the goal again with an assist from his sophomore brother, Yaya. The Green Wave led 2-0 at halftime.  “We played the way we wanted to play,” Grabanski said. “Slowed the ball down, nice and easy passes and just played the right way. It’s what we were missing on Tuesday. Guys just had to believe in themselves and have confidence. We’ve been telling them how much potential they have and what they can do, and they kind of proved it to us in this game.”
Crookston wasn’t happy with the way they came out to play. “I didn’t think our energy level was real high,” Crookston head coach Lon Boike said after. “I just thought we could have put more pressure on the ball, and we didn’t get many scoring opportunities. We were down there, but we just couldn’t get any shots off. We’re not putting the ball where we need to when we’re passing, and we’re hesitating. We’re taking too long to get rid of the ball.”

2nd half
Unlike the first half, East Grand Forks wasted no time getting on the board in the final 40 minutes. Less than five minutes into the second half, sophomore midfielder Imran Nur scored a goal off of an assist from senior Kole Chupka. About three minutes later, Yaya Ismail scored the Green Wave’s fourth goal with an assist from older brother, Hamse. Yaya Ismail became the fifth different player from East Grand Forks to score a goal for the Green Wave in the young season. “We’ve had a lot of guys step up,” Coach Grabanski said. “We have eight seniors on the team, so I think goals can come from any of them. They’re just coming out and playing the right way. In this game, Hamse (Ismail) just wanted it more than everyone else.”

While Crookston struggled to get any shot toward the goal, East Grand Forks remained aggressive on offense throughout, finishing with 25 total shots. Senior keeper Kaleb Thingelstad was once again active for Crookston, finishing with 10 total saves.  “We gave up 18 shots in the first half,” Coach Boike said. “It shouldn’t be that many for a game. Fortunately, Kaleb was playing well and made a lot of nice, athletic saves. It could have been a lot worse if Kaleb wasn’t on his game. We have to give East Grand Forks credit. They’re a pretty good team.”

Crookston, who falls to 0-2 on the season, will hit the road on Tuesday, September 8 to face Detroit Lakes.  East Grand Forks improves to 1-1 and will play its first road game on Saturday, September 12 at Pelican Rapids. 

1st 2nd Final
East Grand Forks 2 2 4

31:27 – EGF – Hamse Ismail
36:45 – EGF – Hamse Ismail (Yaya Ismail)
44:29 – EGF – Imran Nur (Kole Chupka)
46:54 – EGF – Yaya Ismail (Hamse Ismail)

Saves 1st 2nd Total
Kaleb ThingelstadCrox 8 2 10
Cayden Clarke – EGF 0 2 2