Down two goals at halftime, St. Thomas Academy was unfazed.

Well, that composure isn't a hard task for defending champions.

The Cadets (16-1-3) executed a comeback 4-3 overtime victory against Austin (18-1-2) in the Class 1A semifinals Monday at U.S. Bank Stadium to head into the championship against Totino Grace at 10 a.m. Thursday.

"It felt really great," senior midfielder Logan Davis said. "But then again, our team knows there's still more business to get done."

Davis, who made the all-tournament team last year, scored two goals, including the game-winner in the 95th minute of the second half of overtime.

The Packers took an early lead in the seventh minute on a goal from senior forward Lonyjera Okal. But Austin then gave up a penalty kick five minutes later that Cadets senior midfielder Alex Tsobanakis confidently scored.

Two late first-half goals from junior forward Mooday Wah and junior defender Elton Tolbert put Austin, which had only been to the state tournament once before in a 2009 first-round exit, in the unexpected lead.

Experience, though, eventually won out. Cadets senior forward Nikita Zholtok scored in the 50th minute, and Davis grabbed his first in the 72nd minute. Davis' golden goal, also off a throw-in like Zholtok's, was the difference.

"We definitely were aware they were one of the top teams in the state, but at the same time, we felt that we had done some things to get us the recognition, too. So we were just excited to see how we compared," Austin coach Jens Levisen said. "Nothing to hang our heads about."


Totino-Grace 3, Orono 2, OT: Junior forward Herbert Endeley called his overtime winner Monday "probably my favorite goal I've scored all season."

None of his previous 32 goals was more important.

Trailing 2-1 at halftime, Totino-Grace forced overtime on Luke Lindsay's goal in the 77th minute.

"At those important moments of the game, you've got to believe and be mentally strong," Eagles coach Bill Vance said.

Orono also displayed fortitude as three starters missed time in the second half. Two were injured. Christian Babo needed a bandage for a gash on the left side of his head. Guy Mohs was helped off the field after suffering a knee injury.

But Christopher Nordlie's departure hurt the worst. He received a red card and ejection in the 76th minute after colliding with the Totino-Grace goaltender. The Spartans were down to 10 players for the rest of the game.

"We knew it was going to make it tougher on all of us but we fought hard," Orono's Spencer Overturf said.

Lindsay struck for the equalizer and shifted the game's momentum.

"After we scored the second goal, I felt that their heads went down and ours went up," said Endeley, who won the game on a rebound of Steevenson Lamarre's shot.

David La Vaque