THE Minnesota State Cup is now well underway and over the last week the play-in games have been completed to decide the final make-up of the groups.
Some age groups in both boys and girls also have managed to play their first round of group games on a weekend where the weather played havoc with the schedule.
The opening kick-off occurred on Monday April 25 at the Isanti complex and it was Dakota Rev’s U15 boys who booked their place in Group C with a narrow 1-0 win over Blackhawks.
Also on Monday, Rebels SC overcame Wayzata 2-1 to complete Group C in the boys U16 category, while at U18 the semi-final match-ups were decided as Plymouth SA defeated Minnesota Thunder Elite (19) 3-1 to set-up a meeting with Thunder Elite (18). Blackhawks will face Bloomington in the other semi-final after they overcame St Croix (3-2) and Northern Lights (2-0) respectively.
On Friday, Minnesota Thunder North defeated Edina 2-1 in the U13 grade to qualify for Group A, and Blackhawks enjoyed a 2-0 win over Dakota Rev to complete. Group B.
The first round of group games took place the following day (Saturday) and in Group A Minnesota Thunder West signalled their intent for the competition with a 12-0 demolition of Prior Lake, while St Croix marched to a 4-1 win over Minnesota Thunder North.
In Group B Minneapolis United also had a big win as they romped past Thunder East (10-0) and Blackhawks got off to a solid start as they scored the only goal of the game against Plymouth SA to record a 1-0 victory.
With no play-in games at U14, it was straight into the groups and in Group A Minnesota Thunder Elite overcame Thunder West 4-0 and Blackhawks edged out St Croix in a five goal thriller, 3-2.
Lakeville enjoyed a 2-1 win over St Paul United and Edina collected the points with a 3-1 defeat of Eagan Wave in Group B, while Minneapolis United scored the odd goal in five to win 3-2 against Woodbury and Plymouth defeated MapleBrook 1-0 to round-up Group C.
The girl’s competitions began with mostly play-in games but there were some groups that managed to get started over the weekend.
On Friday evening, the U15s of MapleBrook overcame Burnsville 2-0 in a game that could have easily ended up a very different story. Burnsville showed great heart and commitment and had chances to take the lead but were unable to find the target. In fact, the opening goal arrived after the MapleBrook ‘keeper made a smart save and punted the ball forward where the bounce eluded two Burnsville defenders. The ‘Brook striker found herself through on goal with only the ‘keeper to beat and did so with aplomb to open the scoring.
With the wind at their backs in the second period, Burnsville piled forward in search of the leveller but a combination of goalkeeping heroics last ditch defending was to deny them as ‘Brook scored a late second to secure their win to send them into Group A where they were joined by North Metro who defeated Northern Lights 3-0.
Metro opened like a whirlwind and found themselves 2-0 up early in the game but credit to Northern Lights who battled superbly and tried to force their way back in. Their good work was undone however as they conceded a penalty early in the second half that was duly dispatched to the net to seal the win for North Metro. In the third play-in game, Centennial SC’s reward for their 2-0 win over Prior Lake was a place in Group B.
Friday also saw the U16 girls play-ins and their were wins for Chan/Chaska over White Bear and North Metro over St Croix – both 2-1 – so send the pair into Group A while Minneapolis United qualified for Group B thanks to their 2-0 defeat of Lakeville.
The previous day (Thursday) saw the play-ins at U13 and U14 while the groups got underway on Saturday.
At U13, Tonka United defeated Edina 2-0 to move into Group A, Centennial marched into Group C thanks to their 3-0 win over Burnsville Fire and Plymouth SA overcame Three Rivers SA 3-1 to qualify for Group D.
On Saturday the first round was completed and in Group A there were wins for Prior Lake over Minnesota Thunder West (3-1) and Tonka United over Thunder’s Elite Academy (1-0). In Group B there were wins for both Dakota Rev clubs – the firsts beating St Croix 2-0 while their second string had a 1-0 victory over Woodbury.
Group C saw Eagan Wave overcome Centennial SC 1-0 and Eden Prairie get off to a solid start with a 3-0 defeat of Burnsville Fire; the weekend’s action was completed in Group D where there were wins for Minneapolis United over Plymouth (1-0) and Minnesota Thunder North who enjoyed a 3-0 victory against Arsenal FC.
At U14, Twin Cities Fire’s 3-0 defeat of St Croix sent them into Group B and North Suburban Soccer qualified for Group C thanks to their 5-0 win over Thunder West on Thursday.
On Saturday in Group A, the Thunder Elite had a remarkable 15-0 win over Burnsville while Mahtomedi secured a 3-1 success against MapleBrook.
Group B saw 3-0 victories for both Thunder North over Edina and Twin Cities Fire over Blaine, while the weekend’s action was completed in Group C as Prior Lake overcame Wayzata 2-1 and North Suburban Soccer enjoyed a 2-0 opening win against Minneapolis United to get the 2011 Minnesota State Cup well underway.