The 30 seconds left did little to rush Mitch Boege. The Blaine forward waited patiently in front of the goal hoping for a chance to score before the end of the first half.
He passed on a chance to recycle his action toward the net while Jeremiah Strand juggled around defenders. The patience paid off, as Boege found Strand's cross just in time to convert the goal and claim the Bengals an advantage they believed secured a 3-1 victory over Bloomington Jefferson in the Class 2A boys' soccer semifinals Monday at the Metrodome.
"That was the game-changer," Boege said. "That switched the whole mood. It's nice to get that before the half."
The goal with 20 seconds to go gave Blaine (16-3-1) a 2-1 lead and completed a very physical first half. The aggressive play led to each team's first goal, as a pair of penalties in the box gave each team a penalty kick and both converted.
That penalty kick would be all the scoring Jefferson would do, though. The Jaguars (16-4-1) held the lead for just over minute after Nicholas Mhiripiri scored, but Jefferson immediately followed that by also committing a foul in the box to give the Bengals a shot to tie.
Colton Nelson's uncontested goal would be the first of three unanswered scores by the Bengals. Boege's late first-half tiebreaker was followed by T.J. Soehn's insurance goal in the 52nd minute.
"We expected a very physical battle," Soehn said, "but I didn't expect two penalties."