Blaine vs. Andover

5 p.m., Saturday, Sept. 15

Maple Grove and Centennial aren't the only Northwest Suburban teams with some history who are playing this week.

Blaine and Andover have a similar rivalry, with the Bengals looking to avenge last fall’s 1-0 season-ending loss to the Huskies in the Class 2A, Section 7 final. The victory would also help Blaine keep building on its near-perfect start to this year.

The Bengals have put themselves in a position to challenge for a league championship after winning three of their first four conference games, including a 1-0 victory over No. 9-2A Maple Grove on Sept. 4 thanks to a goal from Jaida Wiege. The senior midfielder leads the squad with seven goals this season, while junior Deborah Leier, who has a team-high five assists and three goals, provides additional offensive aid for the No. 10-2A Bengals (6-1-0, 3-1-0).

Andover started the season with two victories, but has gone 2-1-2 since — including a 2-1 loss to No. 8-2A Centennial last week — and a victory Tuesday could serve as a confidence booster. Offensive struggles have plagued No. 7-2A Andover (4-1-2, 1-1-2) recently, as it couldn’t find the net in back-to-back 0-0 draws against Anoka (Aug. 28) and Robbinsdale Armstrong (Aug. 30) before tallying just one goal against the Cougars. The Huskies have scored six goals in a game three times this season, so the roster has some firepower. The team needs consistent scoring from Kelsey Kallio, who leads the team with seven goals. The junior had three goals in both of Andover's 6-0 victories (at Rosemount and at Elk River), but scored only once in the other five games. The Huskies also feature Kai Gillespie, who provided the game-winning assist in last year’s section title game.