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About the only consolation Seth Hoffman had after the Duluth East boys soccer team lost in the first minute of overtime in the Class AA state championship game last month was that at least he didn’t close his career with an eight-overtime defeat. That was the case for Seth’s father, Doug Hoffman, a left back on the Duke squad which lost 2-1 to Indiana in eight OTs in the 1982 NCAA Division I men’s final.
When Cloquet-Carlton girls soccer coach Dustin Randall tabulated Kendra Kelley's statistics near the end of her junior season, he couldn't help but shake his head. "When she hit 40-some goals last season, I don't know how many times I went back and recounted, thinking that couldn't even been possible," Randall recalled. "It was kind of unreal." Kelley followed up her astounding 47-goal year in 2017 with a state-leading 43 more this season en route to repeating as the News Tribune All-Area Player of the Year.
Minneapolis Last Monday night's Los Angeles-Kansas City track meet likely will transform the NFL for generations to come. Teams that are able to adapt to and prosper in a deep-passing, risk-taking offense will have the advantage over those who don't, both on the field and in obtaining the best offensive talent during the offseason.
MINNEAPOLIS — Members of the Duluth East boys soccer team had Stillwater Area on their minds during offseason workouts, preseason practices and while preparing for the state tournament.
STILLWATER AREA (18-1-2) VS. DULUTH EAST (19-0-2) What: Class AA state championship game When: 5:30 p.m. Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
MINNEAPOLIS — Duluth East goalkeeper Oliver Hasler often cuts a lonely figure on the soccer field. He’s usually the one standing around in his own penalty area without much to do while teammates have all the fun at the other end of the pitch. But on Wednesday afternoon, Hasler was busy keeping Minnetonka shots out of his net and preserving the Greyhounds’ 2-0 victory in a Class AA high school state tournament semifinal at U.S. Bank Stadium.
MINNETONKA (14-2-4) VS. DULUTH EAST (18-0-2) What: Class AA state tournament semifinal When: Noon Wednesday Where: U.S. Bank Stadium, Minneapolis
LINDSTROM, Minn. — Will Francis' father, Chris, has been logging plenty of frequent-flying miles between Cincinnati and Duluth during the high school boys soccer season. With Duluth East undefeated and ranked No. 1 in the state and Will Francis among the state's leading goal-scorers, it's been a labor of love for Chris Francis, who for the past year has been the Chief Operating Officer at the YMCA in Cincinnati. His son delayed moving to Union, Ky., with the rest of the family to try and guide the Greyhounds to a state championship.
LINDSTROM, Minn. — When Duluth Denfeld last met Blake on the artificial turf at Chisago Lakes Area High School two years ago in a Class A boys soccer state tournament quarterfinal, the Hunters shocked the Bears with a goal in the first minute, albeit in a 3-1 defeat. There were no quick goals — or any goals, for that matter — on Wednesday night for the Hunters, who lost 1-0 to Blake in another Class A quarterfinal.
From the moment juniors on the Duluth East boys soccer team came off the U.S. Bank Stadium field after taking third in the 2017 Class AA state tournament, a resolve began building to win it all as seniors. When new coach Corey Bachand took over during August practices, he fostered and emboldened that attitude. And when the Greyhounds went 19 games without losing and repeated as Section 7AA champions this season, that feeling of confidence was in full bloom.