East Ridge boys soccer: Raptors shock No. 1 North St. Paul, one win from State
The biggest week in East Ridge boys soccer history took place last week. However, the Raptors are hoping this week will be even greater.
East Ridge secured a spot in the Section 4AA title game with a 2-0 win Saturday over No. 1-ranked North St. Paul in North St. Paul. The upset win came just days after East Ridge beat rival Woodbury for the first time ever in the opening round of playoffs and put the Raptors a win away from the state tournament.
In the win over previously undefeated North St. Paul, sophomore Zach Boerjan scored near the 30th minute mark in the first half to give the fifth-seeded Raptors (11-5-2) a 1-0 lead and sophomore Connor Stevenson added a goal with eight minutes left to play to help seal the victory. The win earned East Ridge a date with third-ranked Stillwater for the section title Tuesday in Stillwater.
"The kids are playing really well and they're confident," Raptors head coach Anthony Bidwell said. "We'll just keep doing what we're doing and that's improving. "
East Ridge has won seven of its last 10 games and Stevenson has six goals in four games.
Bidwell has said throughout the year that the team focuses primarily on defensive organization and then works on the attack. That philosophy has helped the team late in the season. The Raptors have only given up one goal in their last three games. Goalkeeper Chris Knight came up big in the second half when he made a save off a dangerous corner kick.
A familiar foe, Stillwater edged the Raptors 2-1 earlier in the season in a Suburban East Conference contest.
"It's one of the toughest sections in the state," Bidwell said. "We knew we'd have three tough teams."