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New Life Academy girls soccer: Eagles reach second-straight section championship; defeated by South St. Paul again

New Life Academy senior Sarah Stacey and the Eagles reached a second-straight Section 4A championship game last week. NLA was topped 3-0 by South St. Paul in the final.

It's becoming a habit.

After reaching its first-ever section soccer final last year, the New Life Academy girls soccer team reached the Section 4A championship game for a second-straight year last week, only to be done in by South St. Paul once again.

Last year, South St. Paul dashed the Eagles' hopes of a state tournament berth with a 1-0 win in the Section 4A final. In the game, top-seeded South St. Paul scored the game-winning goal with 13.1 seconds remaining on the clock.

This year, the top-seeded Packers didn't have to wait as long to celebrate. Out of the Classic Suburban Conference, South St. Paul (13-4-2) beat second-seeded New Life Academy 3-0 in the final held Thursday, Oct. 18, at South St. Paul High School.

It was the first loss of the year for the Eagles, who finished the season 17-0-3 overall, while winning the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association conference championship.

Prior to the loss, New Life beat third-seeded St. Paul Harding 3-1 on Tuesday, Oct. 16, under the lights of East Ridge High School.

NLA junior Chloe Westlund led the way offensively, scoring two goals and adding an assist. In addition, freshman Maddie Sosa notched a goal and assist for the Eagles and Sarah Stacey had an assist, while goalie Theresa Baranick made four saves in the Section 4A semifinal win.

The youthful Eagles say good-bye to two seniors from the roster - Stacey and defender Anna Phipps.