JAMESTOWN - The moment Minot High let up, Dominic Neameyer sank its chances of winning a state championship.
The Century senior found himself in open space with 3 minutes, 6 seconds remaining in the second overtime and kicked Bismarck Century into its third straight soccer state-title match. The Patriots' 1-0 win Friday came after a long day of bad conditions at rain-soaked Rotary Field.
Century looks to become the second team to win three in a row, when it meets archrival Bismarck High at 3 p.m. today. Fargo South won four in a row from 1998 to 2001.
"We were fighting so hard," Neameyer said. "We wanted to make it back and go for another one."
Century junior Wyatt Holwagner won a battle for the ball at midfield and quickly passed it to Neameyer, who took it up field. He appeared to be ready to pass it, when he realized he didn't have anyone in front of him. He turned and drilled the ball from the middle of the field past MHS goalkeeper Garrett Weishaar.
"Their back line dropped off," Neameyer said. "I had some space so I hit it."
Century spent most of the second half and nearly all of the second overtime in Minot's end. Both squads' defenders made sure there weren't many clean shots, but Century had more of them. Weishaar finished with eight saves.
"We were dominating the chances," Neameyer said. "Sooner or later, we knew we were gonna get the breakthrough."
MHS coach Cody Saunders said that's what Century does.
"Century's a tough team; they know how to win games, especially with pressure," he said.
Minot was coming off a thrilling 3-2 overtime victory over East Region champion Shanley-Oak Grove on Thursday. And even though his team is playing West Fargo for third place at 1 p.m. today, Saunders said the match had everything expected of a state-title bout.
"To me, it felt like a state-championship game," Saunders said. "We were on the winning side (Thursday). Now, we're on the losing side. Let's see how they respond."