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Back to finals for Eastview

By JASON GONZALEZ, Star Tribune, 10/29/12, 9:30PM CDT


The Lightning's strong defense held Stillwater's potent offense mostly in check.

Eastview boys' soccer team will return to the Class 2A championship for the second consecutive year.

The Lightning's consistent defense tamed a quality Stillwater offense to advance with a 3-1 victory Monday night at the Metrodome.

Pierce Erickson led the Lightning with two goals while defender Sam Fluegge sought to slingshot his team into Thursday's finale against Blaine with his unique throw-ins.

Reaching far behind his head and then springing his arms forward, Fluegge tossed the soccer ball into the net early in the first half. However, the throw-in failed to touch anyone and was ruled no goal.

Fluegge's bombs continued to fly, though, and one eventually was headed into the goal by Jacob Opheim in the 26th minute for a 1-0 Eastview lead.

His long offerings from the sideline produce regular opportunities for Eastview, leading to a one-sided advantage. Just minutes into the second half, Erickson scored his second goal of the night in the 47th minute to lead 3-0.

"It's always nice to cause someone chaos," Fluegge said about his impressive range. "I just try to get it in there and give us an opportunity to score."

The Ponies also had plenty of chances, but couldn't find ways to finish. Their playoff run had produced 10 goals but the Lightning zapped it outside of a late penalty kick conversion.

Stillwater finished with more shots on goal (10) and fewer fouls, but their looks weren't as efficient as the Lightning's seven shots on goal. A late surge that produced an overturned goal by way of offsides call, followed by the penalty kick, weren't enough to fix the early damage.

"I thought we played well, we just couldn't finish," said Roma Devine, Stillwater's lone scorer. "It was just too late to finish off."

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