Proctor senior Zach Schnabel scored two second-half goals to lift his team to a 3-0 home win over Duluth Marshall in the Section 7A championship game Wednesday.
The teams played a scoreless first half, but freshman Dylan Haala scored in the 50th minute to give the Rails a 1-0 lead on what even Proctor coach Anthony Wood said was a “lucky goal.”
Wood said he thought former coach Tony Makela may have had something to do with the first goal. Makela died tragically in a car accident in 2020.
“We had a coach pass away off our staff last year and there’s no doubt he was looking down on this,” Wood said.
Hilltoppers coach Mike Sengbush said the loss was a “tough pill to swallow,” but was happy with the way his team performed.
“Our possession was really good,” Sengbush said. “We’ve really been really gearing up and the quality of play that we’ve seen out of these boys the last three or four games has really improved.”
Wood said the Rails were fortunate to get through the first half unscathed and have an opportunity to win in the second.
“Marshall took it to us in the first half, really they held the ball the entire game,” Wood said. “Anybody will tell you that first goal was a lucky goal, but sometimes luck is alright.”
Once Haala gave the Rails the lead, Schnabel scored five minutes later to give the Rails some breathing room, then an insurance goal in the 73rd minute.
“We were working all year on finishing inside the six,” Wood said of the close-range area near the goal. “The second goal, that touch to settle it down and finish in the corner was beautiful. Then the third one, he just beat his man with speed and put it in a corner. It was fantastic and I couldn’t be happier for that young man."
Proctor (9-9-1) will have to wait to find out its opponent in the Class A state tournament that begins next week.
Duluth Marshall 0-0—0
First half — No scoring.
Second half — 1. P, Dylan Haala (Vincent Horngren), 50th; 2. P, Zach Schabel (Andrew Reyelts, Haala), 55th; 3. P, Schnabel (Kobey Manninen), 73rd,
Saves — Jasper Timm, DM, 4; Collin Aho, P, 8.