Polars soccer add to its conference title collection

The high school boys soccer match between North and St. Thomas Academy on Oct. 6 was expected to be high drama as the two teams appeared destined to meet with the Metro East Conference championship on the line. A little bit of the starch was taken out of the match-up when the Cadets lost to South St. Paul earlier in the week but North still went out and took care of business.

North, as it has done in recent weeks, steamrolled St. Thomas Academy by a score of 6-1. Because of the Cadets’ loss, the Polars already owned at least a share of the MEC title and with the win claimed the crown outright. 

The conference championship is North’s seventh in a row.

North junior Ata Claremond had his usual solid performance with two goals and four assists. That pushed his regular-season goal total to 36 and he has scored in all but two of North’s games this season. He scored seven times on Oct. 4 against Tartan.

In something of a rarity, Claremond was not North’s leading goal-scorer against St. Thomas Academy. That honor went to Kenlove Solon, who had the hat trick and added an assist. Also registering a goal for the Polars was Phillip Thao.

North goalkeeper Kearby Larsen made six saves while surrendering only one goal.

The win gives North a final regular-season record of 14-2 and sends the Polars to the post-season riding a nine-game winning streak. During that streak, North has given up only four goals and finished with 12 goals against in 16 matches. The Polars were ranked sixth in the Class AA state coaches poll last week.

Next up for the Polars in the Section 4AA tournament, which starts with the quarterfinals on Oct. 11. Section 4AA is home to three ranked teams and North, despite losing only two games, is probably looking at a No. 3 seed.

The top seed is most likely to go to unbeaten and top-ranked Stillwater while East Ridge, which has one loss and two ties on its record, is probably going to land the No. 2 seed.

Stillwater is responsible for one of North’s losses this season. The Ponies edged the Polars 3-2 in overtime on Sept. 17. The Polars’ other loss came against fourth-ranked Park Center in the season opener.

The Section 4AA tournament continues with the semifinals on Oct. 13 and the championship match on Oct. 18.

 

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

 

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