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Boys Soccer: Victory gives Eagles MCAA championship

The New Life Academy boys soccer team is the champion of the Minnesota Christian Athletic Association for the second straight year.

The Eagles wrapped up the conference title with a 3-2 win over Trinity School at River Ridge on the road Saturday. The win meant New Life Academy finished the season with a perfect 8-0 record in the MCAA to finish off another title.

“It is the second year in a row we won that, so we are pretty excited,” head coach Robb Rupp said.

The final few games of the regular season were not easy for New Life Academy. Saturday’s game was tied at 2-2 in the second half when Evan Atkinson scored on a header for the game-winning goal with about 15 minutes left. The Eagles trailed 1-0 early, but Nate Mueller and Henry George each scored to give New Life Academy a 2-1 lead heading into halftime.

Rupp credited the Eagles for helping fill the roles of two players who were out with injury and illness. Midfielder Jack Flavin is expected to miss the rest of the year with an illness, and defender Malachi Thomas suffered a concussion in Thursday’s win over St. Croix Lutheran.

The New Life Academy’s road game at St. Croix Lutheran Thursday was a challenge due to heavy rain. Rupp said they had some tense moments when it looked like either team could win.

“With the way the water and the field went, it took a lot of our skill away,” Rupp said. “So it really became a battle.”

George scored an early goal, assisted by Mueller, to give the Eagles a 1-0 lead in the first half. St. Croix Lutheran scored to tie the game at 1-1 with about 20 minutes left.

But George drilled a rocket on goal that hit the crossbar and slid into the back of the net to give New Life Academy a game-winning goal.

New Life Academy was seeded seventh in the tough Section 3A tournament and will play 10th seeded St. Paul Humboldt on Thursday at the Bielenberg Sports Complex.

Blaze Fugina

Blaze Fugina is the sports editor of the Woodbury and South Washington County Bulletin newspapers. Previously, Blaze worked as a sports editor for the Pierce County Herald and a sports reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press. He graduated from the University of Wisconsin-River Falls in May of 2011. You can follow Blaze on Twitter at @BlazeFugina.

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