After finishing as the state runner-up last season, Blake is going back to the state final looking for its third championship in four years.

The Bears defeated Proctor/Hermantown 5-1 on Friday behind a hat trick from Carly Bullock, giving her seven total goals in two games at the state tournament.

"She's done that for years," Blake coach Shawn Reid said. "I will never, ever bet against Carly Bullock."

Blake (25-2-2) carries a target on its back into its third meeting this season with St. Paul United in Saturday's title game. The Bears won the previous two games in January. But Reid said he preaches to focus only on what his team can control. That same mentality helped Blake blow its semifinal game open in the second period.

Sarah Chute scored early in the first for Blake, but Proctor/Hermantown (20-8-1) kept the Bears at bay and tied the score early in the second period on Sophie McGovern's goal.

The Mirage lost to Blake 1-0 earlier this season, but coach Glen Gilderman said his team felt confident entering this game.

But just when it seemed as if Proctor/Hermantown would hang around, Reid said, his team calmed down and took control.

Blake scored four unanswered goals — three from Bullock and one from Izzy Daniel — and finished with a 33-13 advantage in shots on goal.

"You have to play a great game," Gilderman said. "We played a good game. We could have played better.

"And you're probably not going to beat Blake if you could have played better."

Cody Stavenhagen