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Boys soccer playoff game: Duluth East vs. East Ridge

Duluth East (12-3-4) vs. East Ridge (19-0) What: Class AA state tournament quarterfinalWhen: 5:30 p.m.Where: Chisago Lakes High School, Lindstrom, Minn.Outlook: East's win over Centennial in the Section 7AA title tilt was the perfect pre-test for...

Duluth East (12-3-4) vs. East Ridge (19-0) What: Class AA state tournament quarterfinal
When: 5:30 p.m.
Where: Chisago Lakes High School, Lindstrom, Minn.
Outlook: East’s win over Centennial in the Section 7AA title tilt was the perfect pre-test for today’s final exam. The Cougars play a style similar to East Ridge’s. “The Centennial game was good from that perspective, where it’s going to show us a little bit of what we’re going to see against East Ridge,” Greyhounds coach Nic Bacigalupo said. Matt Sorensen leads East with nine goals and 15 assists for 24 points, while Darby Henderson (17-5-22), Colin Hietapelto (10-6- 16) and Sam Brickley (7-8-15) also play prominent roles. The Greyhounds are making their third state tournament appearance; the last was in 2008 when they finished third in Class A. Unseeded East, with a 15-game unbeaten streak, is averaging 3.7 goals per contest while allowing just 1.1. That’s thanks in large part to goalkeeper Hugh VanScoy, who has tallied nine shutouts. … East Ridge’s Connor Stevenson nearly bypassed his senior season to play in a developmental league at the behest of his future college coaches at Chicago Loyola. The Greyhounds wish he would have. Stevenson is the state’s Mr. Soccer after scoring 28 goals and adding 13 assists for the No. 1-seeded Raptors. He bounces back and forth between forward and an attacking midfielder, according to Bacigalupo. Zack Boerjan (12 goals) and Samuel Ruiz Plaza (11) give the Section 4AA champs a trio of double-digit goal-scorers. East Ridge, ranked 12th in the country, is in its first state tournament. The Raptors beat East 2-1 early in the 2013 season.
Quotable: “Obviously, I know I’m going to have a lot more work in a game like this than other games, but I feel like I’m ready for it. Our defense is ready for it, too.” - VanScoy

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