After two years of crowning high school soccer champions outside in St. Cloud, the state tournament moves into U.S. Bank Stadium this week for semifinal and title game matches. Semifinals are Monday for the boys in Class 2A and the boys and girls in Class 1A. The Class 2A girls’ semifinals are Tuesday. Championships in all four classes are Thursday. A look at the matchups:
Class 2A boys
STILLWATER (20-0) VS. ANDOVER (15-2-2)
When: 8 a.m. Monday
Stillwater at a glance: Senior forward Miguel Caravais, a foreign-exchange student from Spain, has been on fire with nine goals in four playoff games. Kohei Adams and Spencer Scott also have posted multiple-goal games.
Andover at a glance: Models of consistency, senior midfielder Alex Gutenberg tallied 24 goals this season and was held scoreless in just three game while the defense, keyed by Michael Heiges, has shut out its past five opponents.
Key to watch: The pressure is all on Stillwater and players’ tensions rose when Mounds View tied the quarterfinal game 1-1 in the second half. Of course, the Ponies responded with five unanswered goals.
EDINA (16-3-1) VS. WAYZATA (17-0-3)
When: 10 a.m. Monday
Edina at a glance: Led by junior forward Matt Lindberg, the Hornets have only one other player who has scored more than four goals this season. Edina lost both regular-season matchups against Wayzata this year, 2-0.
Wayzata at a glance: The duo of Patrick Weah and MacLane King combined for 18 of the Trojans’ 39 regular-season goals. King scored twice in the quarterfinals.
Key to watch: Edina relies on Lindberg’s offense to score. Wayzata’s efforts to contain Lindberg for a third time are vital.
Class 1A boys
MANKATO WEST (18-2) VS. NORTHFIELD (14-3-3)
When: Noon Monday
Mankato West at a glance: The top-seeded Scarlets are led by senior forward and Mr. Soccer winner Jacob Makela, who has 44 goals this season. Mankato West, making its sixth state tournament appearance, has won 12 consecutive games since losing to defending Class 1A champion Orono on Sept. 20.
Northfield at a glance: Junior forward Jack Fox scored the Raiders’ only goal in regulation in the quarterfinal against Willmar and senior forward Bergen Hoff scored the clinching penalty kick. The Raiders, seeded fifth, lost 1-0 to Mankato West on Sept. 26.
Key to watch: Both teams had similar experiences in their quarterfinal victories, scoring first, giving up a tying goal, then winning in a shootout.
BLAKE (14-3-2) VS. ST. THOMAS ACADEMY (16-4-1)
When: 2 p.m. Monday
Blake at a glance: The Bears win games by attacking the ball at midfield and not giving up many goal-scoring opportunities. They also showed moxie in their quarterfinal victory, giving up a quick goal early before roaring back with three goals — before halftime.
St. Thomas Academy at a glance: The Cadets have five players who scored four or more goals in the regular season. They put in five goals in their quarterfinal victory and defeated the Bears 2-1 in their only previous meeting this season.
Key to watch: Blake focuses on stopping its opponent at midfield. St. Thomas Academy has the ability to get the ball behind the opposing defense. How well can the Cadets do it again?
Class 2A girls
ANDOVER (16-2-1) VS. CENTENNIAL (16-0-3)
When: Noon Tuesday
Andover at a glance: Led by a stingy defense and goalkeeping, the Huskies have allowed more than a goal in a game only twice all season. The Huskies blanked top-seeded East Ridge 2-0 in the quarterfinals but allowed five goals against Centennial on Sept. 27, a 5-3 defeat.
Centennial at a glance: A talent-heavy Cougars offense puts up 4.1 goals per game, the highest in the state. The Cougars defense also shuts down opposing teams, but Andover put up three goals in their Sept. 27 meeting.
Key to watch: If the game goes to overtime, note this: Neither team has lost in seven extra-period contests.
ROSEMOUNT (16-1-2) VS. MINNEAPOLIS WASHBURN (17-1-1)
When: 2 p.m. Tuesday
Rosemount at a glance: Senior Alex Sirek’s game-winning overtime state quarterfinal goal advanced the Irish to its first state semifinal in school history. Sirek and regular-season-leading scorer Jadyn Scholler will try to get past a stiff Millers defense.
Washburn at a glance: The Millers, led by senior Kaitlyn Villars, are fast and score quickly. They scored two goals within a minute of each other in the quarterfinal victory against St. Michael-Albertville.
Key to watch: Rosemount cannot get down early and allow the Millers offense to capitalize on momentum.
Class 1A girls
BENILDE-ST. MARGARET’S (16-4-1) VS. HILL-MURRAY (14-7)
When: 4 p.m. Monday
Benilde-St. Margaret’s at a glance: This is nothing new for the only defending champion to reach the semifinals this year. In appearances in the past 10 state tournaments, the St. Louis Park-based school has won three championships and been the runner-up three times.
Hill-Murray at a glance: The Pioneers have won their past seven games, winning six in shutouts and giving up just one goal in the other. A freshman, midfielder Katherine Schindler, scored the game-winner in a 1-0 quarterfinal victory over Waconia.
Key to watch: The Pioneers defeated the Red Knights 2-0 on Aug. 30. Confidence-builder for the Pioneers vs. revenge incentive for Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
DOVER-EYOTA (17-3-0) VS. MANKATO WEST (18-2-0)
When: 6 p.m. Monday
Dover-Eyota at a glance: The Eagles have momentum after taking down the No. 2 seed St. Paul Academy 4-1 in the quarterfinals. It’s their third consecutive year at state, and that extra experience already is paying off.
Mankato West at a glance: After starting 0-2, the Scarlets have rattled off 18 victories. They set the tone early in their quarterfinal, going up 3-0 in the first 10 minutes in the eventual 7-1 victory over unseeded North Branch.
Key to watch: Watch out for the Mankato West trio of Shelby Lund, McKenna Buisman and Ashley Gustavson, responsible for six of the seven goals in the quarterfinal. The Eagles should look to get on the board early to take the momentum away.
10 a.m., 1A boys; 12:30 p.m., 1A girls; 3 p.m., 2A boys; 5:30 p.m., 2A girls
Compiled by Ellis L. Williams, David La Vaque, Heather Rule and Matthew Davis