Unseeded Bemidji, led by junior Silas Hess who scored his 20th goal of the season and junior Aidan Helwig who had two goals, defeated No. 2 seed Holy Angels 3-1 on Tuesday to advance to the Class 1A boys' soccer championship game.

Hess broke a 0-0 deadlock with a goal in the 44th minute in the semifinals at U.S. Bank Stadium.

"It really lightened it up a little bit for us," Hess said. "We could relax and just realize that we were in this game and we were here to win it."

Hess also broke up a Stars' threat off a corner kick near the Lumberjacks goal in the 66th minute.

Holy Angels (19-1-1) and Bemidji (19-2-1) played a defensive battle in the first half, and both teams made their share of defensive stops near their respective goals throughout. The Lumberjacks broke through twice to get shots on goal in the first half, but Stars sophomore goalkeeper Peter Forseth stopped them both times.

After Hess's goal, Bemidji struck again in the 50th minute as Helwig, a midfielder, kicked a loose ball past Forseth for a 2-0 lead. It marked the first time Holy Angels had allowed two goals this season.

Holy Angels applied pressure and it paid off when junior defender Conor O'Rourke scored on a header in the 65th minute. The Stars, who had no shots on goal in the first half, took more control of the play in the second half, when they had four shots on goal.

But Helwig gave the Lumberjacks a two-goal lead again at 3-1 with his second goal in the 73rd minute.


Blake 3, Austin 1: Goals from three players for the Bears was not a surprising stat, considering every player on Blake's roster has scored a goal this season.

That's not the only strength of the Bears, however.

"One of the strengths of our team that gets overlooked is our defense, because we score a lot of goals," Blake coach Tamba Johnson said. "Defensively, we don't really give up a lot of good, clean chances."

Blake (18-1-2), the No. 1 seed, led 2-0 at halftime on goals from senior Luke Melin and junior Will Mortenson. Senior Jake Lundberg drove down and passed the ball to Mortenson, who found an opening.

"Jake did all the work on that one," said Mortenson, whose second goal of the tournament came with 7 minutes, 7 seconds left in the first half.

The Packers (16-3-0), the No. 4 seed, made it 2-1 about three minutes into the second half on a goal from sophomore Henry Tolbert. But Blake sophomore Keegan James got the two-goal lead back with a penalty kick in the 51st minute.

"Once we were down by two that second time, we knew that we needed to get some more guys up top," Austin coach Jens Levisen said.

"We couldn't quite get that next one to fall."

In their fifth state tournament appearance, the Bears will try for their first state title since they won in 2008.

Blake defeated last year's Class 1A champion, Totino-Grace, in the Section 5 final.