Girls soccer state quarterfinals: Cloquet falls behind in second half to Benilde-St. Margaret's
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. -- Cloquet goalie Kaitrin Rathe and her fellow Lumberjack defenders were flawless against Benilde-St. Margaret's steady first-half attack in the Minnesota Class A state high school girls soccer quarterfinal Thursday at Irondal...
NEW BRIGHTON, Minn. -- Cloquet goalie Kaitrin Rathe and her fellow Lumberjack defenders were flawless against Benilde-St. Margaret's steady first-half attack in the Minnesota Class A state high school girls soccer quarterfinal Thursday at Irondale High School.
In the first five minutes of the second half, however, the Red Knights' attack became a barrage of five scoring chances and the Cloquet defense yielded.
Benilde-St. Margaret's freshman forward Jordyn Burns scored in the 45th and 63rd minutes to lead the Red Knights past Cloquet 2-0.
The eighth-seeded Lumberjacks (12-4-4) had three shots on goal and no corner kicks, while the top-seeded Red Knights (18-3) had 13 shots and seven corner kicks.
"Benilde has tremendous touch and unbelievable moves with the ball," said Cloquet coach Kyle Naalsund about the Red Knights, who finished second at state in 2005 and '06. "We were just a step behind."
Benilde-St. Margaret's will play Totino-Grace at2 p.m. Monday in the state semifinals at the Metrodome in Minneapolis.
Cloquet's best scoring opportunity -- from forward Emily Johnson -- was stopped in the net by Benilde defender Anne Huber in the 64th minute.
"I thought that one was in and we were back to a one-goal game," said Naalsund, whose team lost to 2006 champion Mahtomedi 5-0 in the quarterfinals. "We came down here to show we could be competitive with Benilde, Mahtomedi and Blake, and we showed we can play soccer."
Rathe, a freshman, made 11 saves in the game with two coming in the first minute.
"She has great hustle," said Jessica Vork, a junior on the Class A all-state team. "She has that aggressiveness combined with a good vertical [jump] and great hands."
Vork made Rathe's job easier by stopping seven Red Knight scoring attempts.
"The Benilde coach [Scott Hellings-Christy] came up to me after the game to tell me how quick and how good of a player she is," Naalsund said. "She is everywhere. We have played her at forward, midfield and defender [this season]. She has played everything besides goalie. I think it showed tonight why we need her back there [at defender]."
The Lumberjacks held the Red Knights scoreless in the first half.
"We stayed back on defense," Rathe said. "If one player went up, we put another back to recover. We had to be careful. It worked in the first half."
Burns' first goal came off a Vork save.
"That was frustrating," Vork said. "[Rathe] was on the other side and everything shifted. It was unlucky."
Johnson's opportunity in the 64th minute had Vork and her teammates rejuvenated.
"I thought we got our hustle back, and we weren't going home yet," Vork said. "But that came to an end."
Benilde-St. Margaret's 0-2--2
First half -- no scoring.
Second half -- 1. Jordyn Burns, 45th minute. 2. Burns (Laura Kosch) 63rd.
Saves -- Maddie Jobe, BSM, 3. Kaitrin Rathe, C, 11. Mary Keller, C, 2.
ANDY GREDER covers high school soccer for the News Tribune. He can be reached at (218) 723-5315 or by e-mail at email@example.com .