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1A: Second-half barrage lifts St. Thomas Academy to victory

10/24/2017, 10:30pm CDT
By ELLIS L. WILLIAMS, Special to the Star Tribune

Trailing St. Paul Harding 1-0 in the second half, the Cadets scored four times to keep their two-peat hopes alive.


Logan Davis (10) and Vernon Lovegreen (4) celebrate the tying goal for St. Thomas Academy ten minutes into the second half. The Cadets would rally to defeat the Knights 4-1 in the quarter final matchup. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

After falling behind in the second half, St. Thomas Academy rallied with four consecutive goals Tuesday to keep its two-peat dreams alive in a 4-1 victory over St. Paul Harding.

After a scoreless first half, St. Paul Harding’s Sekou Swaray scored from 15 yards out. But the Cadets came back with goals by four players. They seemingly sealed the outcome when Alex Tsobanakis scored on a penalty shot for a 3-1 lead in the state quarterfinal game at Prior Lake High School.

“That is the way we are,” Cadets coach Noel Quinn said of his quick scoring offense. “I am glad after they scored that we did not panic.”

Logan Davis tied the game with 30 minutes to play. Vernon Lovegreen scored to give the Cadets the lead before Tsobanakis and Amanuel Bird finished the scoring.

Things got away from the Knights quickly after Davis’ tying strike.

The Knights (10-7-3), playing in their first soccer state tournament, tried to rally late and had a few chances but couldn’t score again.

St. Thomas Academy (15-1-3) will play Austin at 2 p.m. in the semifinals on Monday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

“We are better than last year,” Quinn said. “ Last year we grinded and this year we have a lot of goal scorers and are still sound defensively” 


St. Thomas Academy's Aman Bird (11) races to the ball against defender La Wah (8) of St. Paul Harding. Bird scored the Cadets final goal in the four goal, second half rally. Photo by Cheryl Myers, SportsEngine

First report

After falling behind in the second half, St. Thomas Academy rallied with four consecutive goals to keep its two-peat dreams alive.

After a scoreless first half, St. Paul Harding’s Sekou Swaray scored from 15 yards out. But the Cadets came back and seemingly sealed the game when Alex Tsobanakis scored on a penalty shot for a 3-1 lead.

The shot mirrored last year’s championship game penalty shot goal that gave St. Thomas Academy the 1A title. Tsobanakis helped create all the momentum the second-seeded Cadets needed.

The Cadets starting their scoring barrage when Logan Davis bullied two Knight defenders in front of the net to win the rebound and tie the game 1-1 with 30 minutes to play

Things got away from the Knights quickly after.

Vernon Lovegreen scored the Cadets’ second goal and Amanuel Bird got the final one to cap the scoring.

The Knights (10-7-3) tried to rally late and had a few chances but couldn’t score again.

St. Thomas Academy (15-1-3) will play Austin at 2 p.m. in the semifinals on Monday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

Check back later for more on the game.

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Tag(s): Featured  Star Tribune  Austin  Worthington  Bemidji  St. Thomas Academy  Chisago Lakes  Totino-Grace  St. Paul Harding  Orono  Class 1A