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Soccer State Semifinals, Day 2 Recap

Posted: Wednesday, November 1, 2023 - 10:44 PM


Pairings are set for Friday’s six championship games in both the boys and girls fields of the Minnesota State High School League’s Soccer State Tournament. A day after 12 girls teams took center stage for six semifinals, it was the boys’ turn on Wednesday, Nov. 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. Five of the six championship that spanned 14-plus hours on Wednesday needed overtime to determine a winner.

Here is a look at what schools advanced on Wednesday and the pairings for Championship Day on Friday:

Class A

  • No. 4 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1, No. 1 St. Cloud Cathedral 0, 2OT: Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa, making its third consecutive appearance in the state tournament, was the only successful team on Wednesday to knock off a top seed, an undefeated one at that. Sophomore midfielder Kirt Rude ended a dramatic semifinal with the Wildcats’ first, and only needed shot, in the second overtime session. His short-range chip shot over St. Cloud Cathedral junior goalkeeper Noah Henderson not only has Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa in a championship game for the first time, but it also avenges a 2-0 loss to St. Cloud Cathedral on Sept. 28. Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa was the No. 2 seed in the 2022 state tournament and lost to St. Anthony Village in the quarterfinals.
  • No. 3 St. Paul Academy 2, No. 2 Holy Family Catholic 1, OT: A year ago, St. Paul Academy won the Class A championship as the No. 4 seed. Fast forward one season and the Spartans can capture another championship in their tradition-filled history, but this time as one slot better. Junior forward Ethan Peltier put an end to the final semifinal of the day by scoring in the 89th minute to not only send the Spartans to a second consecutive championship game, but also the 11th time since 1986. In that span, the Spartans have captured five championships. Peltier scored amid a massive congestion of players in front of the Holy Family goal. As the ball bounced crazily, Peltier corralled it long enough to send a short-range shot to the near corner.

Class AA

  • No. 1 Orono 4, No. 5 DeLaSalle 3, 2OT: Just more than a minute away from a shootout, top-seeded Orono found the last surge it needed in dethroning the reigning Class AA champion. Senior midfielder Lisle Cherwien scored in the 99th minute to finally turn aside the Islanders, who had rallied from a two-goal deficit to force extra play. Senior forward Peter Scholtz scored in the 68th minute for DeLaSalle on a header, and two minutes later, Marcello Villegas Rosales made a run behind the defense and fired a low shot to the corner.
  • No. 2 Hill-Murray 6, St. Cloud Tech 1: Hill-Murray blazed its way into the Class AA championship game for the second consecutive with a dominating offensive and defensive performance. Senior forward Zach Frey had two goals for the Pioneers, who returned 16 seniors from last year’s squad that was runner-up to DeLaSalle. Hill-Murray is 9-1 over its past 10 games, including five consecutive victories. Hill-Murray was also the Class A runner-up in 2013 to St. Paul Como Park and the single-class runner-up to Hopkins in 1983.

Class AAA

  • No. 1 Wayzata 3, No. 4 Woodbury 2, OT: The top-seeded and defending big-school champions went down to the very last second before advancing to the championship game for the second consecutive season. With precious seconds slipping away in the first overtime, Wayzata senior forward Lassi Koivukangas surged toward the Woodbury goal in an attempt to create a final scoring opportunity. In the process, he was fouled in the penalty area with, officially, one second remaining on the clock, and Wayzata was awarded a penalty kick. Wayzata tapped senior defender Tyler Baker to take the coveted penalty and he promptly delivered with a low blast to give the Trojans the victory in a rematch of last year’s Class AAA championship game that was also decided in overtime.
  • No. 3 Maple Grove 2, Park 1, OT: Maple Grove used two goals from junior midfielder Gavin Chabica to end the longtime championship hopes of unseeded Park. Chabica’s second goal came in the fifth minute of overtime and sends the Crimson to a soccer championship game for the first time since losing to Apple Valley in overtime in the Class AA championship game in 1998. Park was trying to get to a soccer championship game for the first time since 1992. Park senior forward Ayub Mohamed snapped a scoreless deadlock with more than 10 minutes remaining in regulation. Park moves on to play District 833 rival, Woodbury, for the third-place trophy on Thursday at the West St. Paul Regional Athletics Center. Woodbury recorded a 1-0 victory over the Wolfpack on Sept. 19 during a Suburban East Conference game.

Friday’s Boys Championships

Class A

  • No. 3 St. Paul Academy (13-4-3) vs. No. 4 Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa (15-2-2), 5 p.m.

Class A

  • No. 1 Orono (17-1-2) vs. No. 2 Hill-Murray (16-3-2), 12:30 p.m.

Class AAA

  • No. 1 Wayzata (19-0-2) vs. No. 2 Maple Grove (19-0-1), 8 a.m.

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