Prep report: Late goal lifts Duluth East in girls soccer quarterfinals

The Greyhounds advanced to play at Centennial in the Section 7AAA semifinals Thursday, Oct. 14.

Kaelin Cochran (23) of Duluth East takes control of the ball against Coon Rapids on Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021, at Ordean Field in Duluth. Clint Austin / Duluth News Tribune

Duluth East junior Mae Nephew popped a ball up over Coon Rapids goalkeeper Maddy Reinhart to give the Greyhounds a 2-1 home win in the Section 7AAA quarterfinals Tuesday, Oct. 12.

Nephew said she was feeling a little frustrated that the score was tied when she called for the ball in the 70th minute of play.

“I was getting a little upset because the game was ending soon and I didn’t want it to be a tie,” Nephew said. “I got impatient and I screamed for the ball. Then I got a good ball and I hit it.”

Senior Lauren Carlson put the Greyhounds up in the 17th minute with a goal, but Coon Rapids answered with a goal from Grace Stevenson just before halftime.

“We were tested when they leveled the game late in the first half, but to the team’s credit they kept composed and just kept working,” Duluth East coach Steve Polkowski said. “When you have 14 seniors it’s desperation time and we were desperate, but we’ve been there before. We didn’t panic and the moment wasn’t too big.”


Polkowski was particularly pleased with the play of Carlson and Kaelin Cochran.

“Lauren and Kaelin played their first real complete game of the season as our two center backs,” he said. “The really kept the ball up in the attacking third for us the majority of the game.”

With the win, Duluth East (10-6-1) advanced to play at top-seeded Centennial (15-1) at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14.

After the game, Polkowski told his team to get ready for a “war” against the Cougars in the Section 7AAA semifinal.

“Centennial is a fantastic team, it’ll be a good test,” Polkowski said. “We knew a the start of sections that we were going to have to win three games to get to the state tournament and one of them is going to have to be Centennial. They are the odds on favorite in the section. We would have liked it to have been in the section final, but it’s just a game earlier and we’re going to have to beat them one way or the other.”

BOYS SOCCER Hermantown 4, Hibbing 0

Wylee Arro scored twice to lead the Hawks in their Section 7AA quarterfinal match against Hibbing.

Sam Dobinson and Nathan Hill each had second half goals in the win over the Bluejackets.

Sterling Trok had six saves for Hermantown and Drew Forer had four for Hibbing.


Hermantown advances to play at Duluth Denfeld in the Section 7AA semifinal at 6 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14.

As the top seed in the section, the Hunters had a bye in the first round of the tournament.

Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 9, Mesabi East 1

The Lumberjacks got four goals from sophomore Elijah Aultman in the first round of the Section 7AA playoffs.

Aultman tallied a hat trick in the first half and added another in the 59th minute to lead CEC.

Ryder Gerulli made 20 saves in the loss for Mesabi East.

The Lumberjacks will travel to play Grand Rapids in the Section 7AA semifinal at 5 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 14.

The Thunderhawks topped North Branch 4-1 in their quarterfinal match.

Foster, Wright win Polar League titles

Cromwell-Wright junior Noah Foster and North Shore sophomore Olya Wright won individual titles at the Polar League Conference Championships on the Pincushion Trails in Grand Marais.


Foster covered the five kilometers in 16 minutes, 41.5 seconds to easily outpace runner-up Jack Riley (17:38.1) of Carlton-Wrenshall. Nate Rengo (17:42.5) finished third to lead Esko to the boys team title.

Wright finished in 20:46.9 to lead North Shore to the girls team title. South Ridge freshman Addison Burckhardt (21:03.2) was second and North Shore senior Autumn Smith (21:11.3) was third.

Hart notches 1,000th career set assist

Kylie Hart had 31 set assists to reach 1,000 for her career to lead Floodwood to a 25-18, 25-14, 25-11 sweep of Moose Lake-Willow River.

Hart also had four ace serves while Kenzie Kiminski had 10 kills and Darby Autio had seven kills.



Cameron 3, Northwestern 0

Cloquet 3, Proctor 1

Cromwell-Wright 3, Two Harbors 0

Duluth East 3, Duluth Denfeld 0

Eveleth-Gilbert 3, Cherry 2

Floodwood 3, Moose Lake/Willow River 0

Grand Rapids 3, Esko 0

Greenway 3, Aitkin 0

South Ridge 3, Carlton 2

Jamey Malcomb has a been high school sports reporter for the Duluth News Tribune since October 2021. He spent the previous six years covering news and sports for the Lake County News-Chronicle in Two Harbors and the Cloquet Pine Journal. He graduated from the George Washington University in 1999 with a bachelor's degree in history and literature and also holds a master's degree in secondary English education from George Mason University.
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