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St. Thomas Academy earns repeat 1A title shot with overtime flair

By MEGAN RYAN, Star Tribune, 10/30/17, 5:15PM CDT


Senior midfielder Logan Davis scored the winning goal in the extra session in a 4-3 victory against Austin.

When a bouncing corner kick in the second overtime period landed in front of St. Thomas Academy's Logan Davis (in the air at right), he tapped it past Austin goalkeeper Josh Brehmer for the victory. Photo: JEFF WHEELER • jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

Down two goals at halftime, St. Thomas Academy was unfazed.

Well, that composure isn’t a hard task for defending champions.

The Cadets (16-1-3) executed a comeback 4-3 overtime victory against Austin (18-1-2) in the Class 1A semifinals Monday at U.S. Bank Stadium to head into the championship against Totino Grace at 10 a.m. Thursday.

“It felt really great,” senior midfielder Logan Davis said. “But then again, our team knows there’s still more business to get done.”

Davis, who made the all-tournament team last year, scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 95th minute of the second half of overtime.

The Packers took an early lead in the seventh minute from senior forward Lonyjera Okal. But Austin then gave up a penalty kick five minutes later that Cadets senior midfielder Alex Tsobanakis confidently scored.

Two late first-half goals from junior forward Mooday Wah and junior defender Elton Tolbert put Austin, which had only been to the state tournament once before in a 2009 first-round exit, in the unexpected lead.

Experience, though, eventually won out. Cadets senior forward Nikita Zholtok scored in the 50th minute, and Davis grabbed his first in the 72nd minute. Davis’ golden goal, also off a throw-in like Zholtok’s, was the difference.

“We definitely were aware they were one of the top teams in the state, but at the same time, we felt that we had done some things to get us the recognition, too. So we were just excited to see how we compared,” Austin coach Jens Levisen said. “Nothing to hang our heads about.”

St. Thomas Academy's Devin McGill (8) tried to head the ball into the Austin net while defended by Austin's Kee Reh in the first half of their Class 1A semifinal game Monday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Photo: Jeff Wheeler * jeff.wheeler@startribune.com

First report

St. Thomas Academy. down two goals at halftime, kept its chance at a repeat alive with a comeback 4-3 victory in the Class 1A semifinals Monday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Cadets (16-1-3) got the tying and winning goals from senior midfielder Logan Davis to advance to the championship against Totino Grace at 10 a.m. Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Packers took an early lead in the seventh minute when junior forward Mooday Wah slid a great pass through the defense to senior forward Lonyjera Okal, who chipped the ball over the goalkeeper.

But five minutes later, Austin gave up a penalty kick that Cadets senior midfielder Alex Tsobanakis confidently took and scored to level the match.

Two late first-half goals gave Austin a two-goal lead. Wah grabbed the go-ahead, beating the keeper off his line to barrel in a goal after an assist from junior midfielder Kevin Ortiz.

Then two brothers combined for a score in the 38th minute, as freshman forward Henry Tolbert fed a pass to junior defender Elton Tolbert, who scored a far post shot.

St. Thomas Academy started its comeback about 11 minutes into the second half with a goal from senior forward Nikita Zholtok, with an assist from senior defender Devin McGill. And then in the 72nd minute, an outside-the-box strike from Davis, assisted by freshman defender William Guttery, tied the score again.

Davis was again the hero in the second half of overtime, scoring the golden goal in the 95th minute off an assist from senior forward Vernon Lovegreen.

Austin finished the season at 18-1-2.

Check back later for more on the game. 

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