After spotting Duluth Denfeld a goal in the game's opening seconds, Blake spent most of the rest of it in the Hunters' end on the way to a 3-1 victory in the Class 1A boys' soccer quarterfinal Wednesday at Chisago Lakes High School.
The Bears turned that control into the lead when the Bears' Ethan Roe, after taking a pass from his brother, Soren, went in alone and tucked a shot under Duluth Denfeld's goalkeeper James Faynik to break a 1-1 tie in the 32nd minute of the first half.
"I knew that was going to be a huge opportunity," Ethan Roe said. "We had been dominating in the zone but hadn't put one in yet. If you leave someone in a game, it can become a dogfight. I just tried to lock in on the breakaway and put it where I wanted to."
The Bears tied the score in the 11th minute of the first half on a header by Colin McConkey off a free kick by Lane Lipschultz.
The Hunters' Jon Faynik, the goalkeeper's brother, scored 18 seconds into the game on a clean shot from the middle of the field after a Bears defender slipped.
One thing that Blake did not expect was the aggressive play of the Hunters' goalkeeper. James Faynik often left his goal area to play the ball. He even tried a shot from across midfield late in the game and nearly scored.
"We didn't know much about him," Bears coach Tamba Johnson said. "He played very well. We knew he was good. We didn't know he was that aggressive."
St. Thomas Academy 5, St. Paul Como Park 0: Logan Davis scored two goals just seconds apart to help the Cadets defeat St. Paul Como Park.
Davis took advantage of an overaggressive play by Cougars goalkeeper Mu Ku Shi and launched a shot from 40 yards out just under the crossbar. After the ensuing kickoff, Davis got into the goal box and knocked a bouncing ball past Shi.
"I thought [he] was going to recover quick enough and save it,'' Davis said. "As I shot it, I saw where the goalie was and the ball started dipping down. It was pretty magical."
The Cadets' Amanuel Bird scored the game's first goal on a breakaway with just under 18 minutes left in the first half for a 1-0 lead.
The Cougars put some pressure on the Cadets over the final 20 minutes but could not penetrate their defense. Nikita Zholtok and Bird each added a goals late.
"We didn't want to sit back and protect the lead then," Cadets coach Noel Quinn said. "We wanted to push on and score a couple goals, which we did. We wanted to defend by keeping the ball."
Northfield 2, Willmar 1 (SO): The Raiders' Bergen Hoff scored the decisive penalty kick to propel Northfield (14-3-3) in the quarterfinals at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud.
Northfield's Jack Fox scored a corner-kick header in the 26th minute of the first half to put the Raiders on the board. Willmar (17-2-2) tied the score in the 70th minute on a goal by Fernando Zavala, his 13th of the season.
Mankato West 2, Bemidji 1 (SO): The top-seeded Scarlets (18-2) survived a scare in a 6-5 shootout victory over the unseeded Lumberjacks (18-3) in the quarterfinals at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud.
The Scarlets' Carrlin Meier scored the winner in the ninth round. Mankato West's Jacob Makela got the game's first goal at the 19:50 mark in the second half.
Bemidji tied it four minutes later on a header by Leo Spry after a Lumberjacks free kick.