Prep soccer playoffs kick off

The post-season for high school soccer has arrived and the teams from Roseville Area High School and Concordia Academy are in playoff action this week. Here’s a look at where each team stands heading into the playoffs.

 

RAHS boys

The Raiders got the season off to a promising start but things have been more difficult lately. Roseville lost only one of its first six games but enter the post-season winless in its last nine contests.

“It’s a rebuilding year,” said head coach Agapitos Papagapitos. “We have some pieces but it has taken a while to figure who can play where and the right combinations.”

Roseville’s roster includes only one senior who had varsity experience prior to this season. 

“At the beginning of the year, I looked at the schedule and thought we could easily go 0-15,” Papagapitos said. 

Roseville started off much better than that as it beat Centennial and a ranked Eastview team to start the season. Following a loss to top-five Wayzata, the Raiders tied Woodbury and added two more wins over Eagan and Park-Cottage Grove.

Since then, Roseville is 0-5-4. The Raiders have gone to overtime in seven matches and Papagapitos said last week’s 1-1 tie against White Bear Lake was representative of how the season has gone.

Roseville took a lead against the Bears on a goal by Jonas Kazlauskas 10 minutes into the first half. White Bear Lake tied it with 6:42 left in the second half and neither team was able to score during the 10-minute overtime.

The Raiders had a couple of chances to put the game away but couldn’t convert. Senior Jonathan Vu hit the crossbar on a free kick midway through the second half and was stopped on a penalty kick in the first overtime.

Roseville wrapped up the regular season on Oct. 6 by hosting unbeaten and top-ranked Stillwater. The Ponies won that match 2-0.

The Raiders play in Section 5AA in the playoffs and open the tournament on Oct. 15. They are likely to be on the road as Papagapitos is anticipating a six or seven seed. Any success Roseville enjoys in the post-season will depend on which opponent(s) they face.

“It’s about match-ups,” Papagapitos said. “We’re a lot better playing against technical teams than we are against big, physically strong teams. For us to have success, the seedings have to turn out the right way.”

Fourth-ranked Park Center is the defending section champion and the favorite to advance to state out of 5AA again this year. 

The section tournament continues next week with semifinals on Oct. 18 and the championship match on Oct. 20.

 

RAHS girls

Roseville’s girls team faces a tough road in Section 4AA. The Raiders are almost guaranteed to face a ranked team in the first round.

Section 4AA is home to third-ranked Stillwater, fourth-ranked East Ridge and a Mounds View team that was ranked as high as No. 2 earlier this season.

With one match remaining, Roseville had already surpassed last year’s win total by three. The Raiders started off the season by winning six of their first seven but cooled off a bit in the second half. They went into their final regular-season match against Irondale on Oct. 8 with a record of 2-5-1 in their last eight contests.

The Irondale match took place past the deadline for this edition of the Review.

Roseville has faced all seven teams from Section 4AA during the regular season and went 2-5. The Raiders beat North St. Paul and Tartan and lost to Stillwater, East Ridge, Woodbury, Mounds View and White Bear Lake.

The Section 4AA tournament begins with the quarterfinals on Oct. 11. The semifinals are Oct. 13 and the section championship match is Oct. 18. Pairings were unavailable for this edition of the Review.

 

Concordia Academy

Both Beacons teams increased their win total from a year ago as they head into the Section 4A playoffs. 

Concordia’s boys team (7-8-1) saw its win total go from three last year to seven in 2016. The Beacons at one point this season were 5-4-1 before suffering through a four-match losing streak. They snapped that streak last week and closed out the regular season with wins over St. Croix Lutheran and Hmong Academy.

The girls team (5-8) won four games in 2015 and were up to five this year. 

The Section 4A playoffs began on Oct. 10 and run through Oct. 20. 

Among the favorites in the girls tournament are seventh-ranked Mahtomedi and ninth-ranked Hill-Murray. On the boys’ side, St. Paul Washington was ranked as high as seventh earlier this season and enters the post-season with only one loss.

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

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