There might be pressure on St. Thomas Academy as the No. 1 seed, but the Cadets are embracing it.
They scored two first-half goals and used another late goal to hold off Rochester Lourdes for a 3-1 win in the Class 1A boys' soccer state quarterfinals Wednesday at Benilde-St. Margaret's.
Senior midfielder Grant Dumler opened the scoring for the St. Thomas Academy with a left-footed kick from 25 yards out 17 minutes into the game.
Later in the first half, fellow senior Brendan Quinlan scored to give the Cadets (17-3-1) a 2-0 lead.
"A fantastic feeling," Dumler said. "Great group play all together. All of our hard work is finally paying off."
After St. Thomas Academy dominated possession in the first half, the Eagles (16-3-2) managed to get on the scoreboard in the second half. Esteban Bedoya chipped the ball just over sprawling Cadets goalie Matthew Wahl to cut it to a 2-1 game.
St. Thomas Academy's Abraham Haller buried the Cadets' third goal with just over seven minutes to play. He collected a rebound that Lourdes goalie Noah Morris couldn't cover.
The Cadets have now won six consecutive games. They advance to the state semifinals next Wednesday in St. Cloud.
"We've got to step up," Dumler said. "We're the best team in the state. We've got to prove it each and every day."
Breck 3, Sartell-St. Stephen 1: Avi Eller had two first-half goals for the Mustangs as Breck advanced to next Wednesday's semifinal by topping the Sabres.
Eller's first goal came on a penalty kick as he found the left corner for a 1-0 Breck lead with 23:23 to play in the first half.
Eller's second goal of the half came just over 10 minutes later. The Mustangs (13-4-4) dominated play before halftime.
The Sabres (14-3-4) made things interesting when Parker Beumer scored with 32:30 to play to cut it to 2-1. He collected a rebound that Breck goalkeeper Hudson Haecker couldn't corral.
Sartell's offense stalled the rest of the way, however, and Garrett Opperman scored on a header late in the game to cap the 3-1 win. Fourth-seeded Breck advances to face top-seeded St. Thomas Academy.
"We're a team with a lot of heart," Eller said. "Even though we're a lower seed, I think we can get the W."