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GIRLS SOCCER: Lumberjacks take aim at section championship

Cloquet plays undefeated Chisago Lakes in North Branch tonight


October 18, 2019

Amber Nichols

Cloquet easily dispatched Two Harbors Saturday in a Section 7A quarterfinal game despite facing a cold, wet and somewhat snowy day in Proctor.

The Cloquet-Carlton girls soccer team notched three straight shutouts to open play in the Section 7A tournament this week. That win streak set up a championship showdown with No. 1 seeded Chisago Lakes at 7 p.m. Thursday in North Branch.

It's been quite a roll through the playoffs so far for the No. 2 seeded Lumberjacks, which opened with a 4-0 win over Princeton last Thursday, followed by a 5-0 victory over Two Harbors Saturday in Proctor. In the 7A semifinal game Tuesday night at Public Schools Stadium in Duluth, Cloquet downed St. Francis 2-0.

The Lumberjacks continued their smothering defense Tuesday by holding St. Francis to just three shots on goal to pick up their third straight shutout victory. Gracie Meagher stopped all three Saints shots on the Cloquet net.

Senior Kiana Bender got the only goal the 'Jacks would need on an assist by Katie Turner in the 16th minute.

Cloquet-Carlton added an insurance goal in the 33rd minute of the game when Brenna Mattson found the back of the net, allowing the 'Jacks to take a 2-0 lead into halftime.

Against Princeton the Lumberjacks got first half goals from Kiana Bender in the 5th minute and Katie Turner in the 21st minute, allowing Cloquet to go up 2-0 on the Tigers. Bender's goal was assisted by Hannah Biebl and the Turner goal was on an assist from Alexa Snesrud.

Brenna Mattson made the score 3-0 in favor of the Lumberjacks in the 51st minute with an assist by Natalie Hoffmann. Then Bender scored her second goal of the game in the 71st minute on an assist from Turner.

For the game, Cloquet-Carlton goalie Gracie Meagher made four saves for the shutout, while Tiger goalie Sydney Eckert recorded eight saves on 12 shots.

"One reason why we like to play with the lead so much is that we know we are tough to score on. So many shutouts this year, and we really pride ourselves on it," said Lumberjacks head coach Dustin Randall. "My girls know the expectation is to keep the ball out of the net, no matter what the score is."

Quarterfinal action saw the Lumberjacks handle the Agates 5-0 on a cold snowy Saturday as Turner had a big day with two goals and two assists.

Amber Nichols

Cloquet's Katie Turner collides with a Two harbors player after sending the ball towards her teammate.

Turner scored just five minutes into the affair with Bender picking up the assist and then it was Bender scoring from Turner just three minutes later. Senior Madi Vermeersch scored at the 16 minute mark with Turner adding the assist as the Lumberjacks took a 3-0 lead into halftime.

The second half saw sophomore Turner's hot streak continue as she picked up her second goal of the game in the 42nd minute from Hoffman. Senior Jaxie Pororelc who ended the scoring on an unassisted goal in the 71st minute for the final of 5-0.

"We had 13 shots, and they had zero," explained Randall. "I really didn't think that we were threatened too much, but in conditions like Saturday, things can be weird."

The Lumberjacks played for the section title at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 17, in North Branch against the undefeated Chisago Lakes Wildcats after this issue of the Pine Knot News was printed. The Wildcats defeated Duluth Marshall in overtime on Tuesday to gain the title game against the 'Jacks. Look for more on that game in next week's PKN.


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