Rails bump ’Jacks from playoffsLexi DeWall and Britt Zieroth each scored as Proctor powered past Cloquet-Carlton 2-1 in a Section 7A girls soccer quarterfinal game Saturday at Terry Egerdahl Field in Proctor.
By: Tyler Korby, Pine Journal
As a veteran varsity defender, Tara Longseth plays a solid sweeper position, but it was the Cloquet senior who was sweeping away the tears following her final girls soccer game.
Lexi DeWall and Britt Zieroth each scored as Proctor powered past Cloquet-Carlton 2-1 in a Section 7A girls soccer quarterfinal game Saturday at Terry Egerdahl Field in Proctor.
Longseth, a senior in her fourth year of varsity, took the loss hard.
“We didn’t show up to play like I know we could have,” said Longseth, who along with her teammates, helped shut out the fourth-seeded Rails 2-0 on the same field just two weeks earlier. “It was one of the toughest moments of my life.”
The fifth-seeded Lumberjacks advanced to the quarterfinals with a 4-0 shutout against Two Harbors last Thursday. But the Lumberjacks came to life too late Saturday, as Anna Fossen’s 79th-minute mark (assisted by Maija Doran) was just moments before the game’s final horn. Goalkeeper Emily Conner’s dozen saves were a game-high.
Yet, according to fifth-year Cloquet-Carlton Coach Dustin Randall, Proctor patrolled the field — controlling the ball and scoring opportunities — and outshot the Lumberjacks 14-6, including DeWall and Zieroth’s goals in the 68th and 71st.
“Proctor earned it — they beat us,” said Randall of the Rails, which lost in Tuesday’s 7A semifinals against Hermantown. “They scored and then had their second before we even knew it. We were a little sluggish from the get-go, never really found our footing and never really got going.”
Going into the postseason as the section’s defending champions, the Lumberjacks, which finished 7-10-1 in a grueling schedule, were quickly dethroned — and saddened.
“Everything happens for a reason,” said Longseth. “But years down the road, I know I’ll be able to look back and be satisfied with my four years here. I’m just proud of my team.”
“I’ll definitely remember all of our good times,” added fellow senior captain Grace Sinisalo, who played just 1½ games this fall due to a left knee injury, as she cheered from the rainy, wet sideline on Saturday, following with hugs.
Doran, also a captain, is one of eight seniors, and explained she has played soccer in Cloquet since the age of 4.
“That’s 13 years of my life,” she said. “There have been lots of tears shed, but I’ve made so many friendships and memories, it’s hard to be sad. This has made me who I am.”
“It’s one of the first groups I coached,” added Randall. “Hopefully the program will be better because of them.”
“This is my sport, my passion,” senior Becca Hammond, said, “but it’s time to leave, and give it to the younger girls.”