Bengals capture key section soccer clash

It was a rematch of last year’s Section 7AA overtime thriller. But it was also more than that.

Andover sophomore Cade Williams and Blaine junior Marco Hinojosa battle for possession near midfield. Photo by Patrick Slack
Andover sophomore Cade Williams and Blaine junior Marco Hinojosa battle for possession near midfield. Photo by Patrick Slack

With top section seeding this year still up for grabs, Blaine utilized a pair of penalty kick goals as the difference in a 3-1 home win over Andover on Tuesday.

“We played OK,” Blaine head coach Berry Arrowsmith said. “I thought we could have played better. I always think we could play better. I know they’re missing one of their top guys and they’re young.

“We’re not section ready yet. We’re still building on it, still working toward it. We just got to light a little more fire in the boys and get them going.”

Blaine improved to 4-4 on the season with the win, showing again what at times has been a dangerous offense.

“Michael Hoberg has been dominant in the games that he has played,” Arrowsmith said. “Others have been adding to our success at times as well. Our offense can be very potent when they play together.”

Andover continues an up and down fall after a state tournament run a year ago, regrouping with a young roster.

“We’ve played better than our results have shown,” Andover head coach John Schlichtman said. “We are a little young and we are having a tough time scoring goals … we needed to play better. We didn’t play that well.

“Midfielders (Andy) Rowland and (Logan) Rohloff have played well as has (Blake) Matti on ‘D’ and (Liam) Verhoef in net. Logan Penner has been a pleasant surprise as a freshman.”

Blaine (4-4) is now currently second in Section 7AA after the win, narrowly ahead of Anoka (4-4), St. Francis (4-2), Coon Rapids (3-4) and Andover (2-4-1). Duluth East (7-0) holds the top seed.

“That’s the nice thing about our conference, you play a tough opponent every night, and then in our section we have some good competition,” Arrowsmith said. “Especially, Duluth East, they’re the real deal this year.”

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