Duluth Central feels slighted in girls soccer seedings
Apparently a 15-2 record wasn't enough to impress Twin Cities-area coaches that Duluth Central is the real deal. The Trojans received a No. 5 seed in the eight-team Section 7AA playoffs and must open the playoffs tonight at No. 4 Coon Rapids (8-9...
Apparently a 15-2 record wasn't enough to impress Twin Cities-area coaches that Duluth Central is the real deal.
The Trojans received a No. 5 seed in the eight-team Section 7AA playoffs and must open the playoffs tonight at No. 4 Coon Rapids (8-9).
"I'm disappointed that we have a team seeded ahead of us that has a losing record," said coach Ron Weber, who lobbied hard that his team deserved a home game at last week's coaches' seedings meeting.
The metro-area coaches' main beef was that Central played a single-A schedule. Weber countered that since the schedule was determined prior to Central students and Denfeld students merging to form one school, there was no way to alter it in time.
"We're a victim of our schedule, and (metro-area coaches) belittle the teams up here a little bit and make them out to seem less important," Weber said. "I'd say that Hermantown, Cloquet and Esko should take offense to something like that because we have good teams up here."
Trojans players think the same thing.
"We definitely should have earned a home game," said senior goalkeeper Sarah Fleissner, who led Northeastern Minnesota with 11 shutouts. "(Other coaches) don't give us credit for playing single-A teams, but I don't think single-A teams are anything less than double-A."
The slight might end up giving Central added motivation.
"I have a lot more fire in me to fight for all those all those single-A schools out there to get them some respect," Fleissner said. "A lot of those double-A schools don't respect us, and that gives us a little more intensity."
Weber's team outscored foes 55-9, blending a combination of deft goal-scoring by Leah Hamm and Emily DeMarais and solid goaltending from Fleissner.
"It's not going to deter us, we're a confident team," Weber said. "I like our chances. We've got a great goalkeeper, we score points and we defend well. Given those kind of situations, we can play with anybody."
Central went 6-1 away from Public Schools Stadium. Hamm, a junior forward who led the Trojans with 18 goals and 25 points, says her team plays just as well on the road.
"We would be just fine beating Coon Rapids away just as much as we would here," she said. "It does give us a chance to prove ourselves, and I think we can handle it."
If they do, a final meeting with top-seeded Duluth East (11-5-1) likely would be the next hurdle. The Greyhounds, who have a 47-game unbeaten streak against Northland opponents, beat Central 2-0 during the regular season.
"We would love another chance at East; that would be so exciting," Hamm said. "This was the best we've done against East in awhile, so we're looking at getting another shot at them."
Esko-Carlton seeks second
state tournament berth
Esko-Carlton's four-plus-goals-per-game offense ran into a roadblock in last season's Section 7A championship game against Cloquet.
This year's squad averages only half the scoring of its predecessors, but, in this wide-open section, the Eskomos might have a better chance of reaching the Class A state tournament for a second time.
Esko-Carlton (9-6-1) received a No. 2 seed and a first-round bye in the section playoffs. The Eskomos, who qualified for the 2005 state tournament, will play either Princeton or Hibbing in Saturday's quarterfinals.
Chisago Lakes, which beat Esko-Carlton 3-1 in double overtime, is seeded No. 1. Proctor is seeded third and defending champion Cloquet drew a tough assignment with the No. 4 seed and may have to knock off Grand Rapids and Chisago Lakes to return to the title game.