Neither Cassie Raehsler nor Matt Hager are sure of what to expect when seedings for the state soccer tournament are announced Saturday.
“I’m a rookie at this,” said Raehsler, Sartell’s girls head coach. “We’re going to figure it out (Friday).”
“I have no idea,” said Hager, Sartell’s boys head coach, who figures to have done his homework Friday as well.
That state seeds are to be contemplated say volumes about what Thursday was like for the Sabres.
Sartell soccer had quite the evening Thursday, with both the boys and girls winning Section 8A titles at Husky Stadium.
The boys beat St. Cloud Apollo 3-2 in overtime in the the third meeting of the season between the two.
The other two wound up 1-1 overtime ties.
The girls beat St. Cloud Cathedral 2-0 to re-affirm an earlier 3-2 win over the Crusaders.
Coaches seed Saturday morning on-line, then have a conference call.
The top five seeds are announced, with No. 5 playing No. 4. The bottom three unseeded teams have their opponents selected at random.
Sartell’s boys have a really good shot at a top-four seed, based on who’s in the tournament and QRF rankings, a private entity used to determine ratings on the website www.Minnesota- Scores.net.
The Class A boys’ field looks like this:
Section 1 — Rochester Lourdes (13-5-2, No. 16 QRF)
Section 2 — Waseca (17-0-1, No. 13)
Section 3 — St. Paul Como Park (16-0-3, No. l2)
Section 4 — Hill-Murray (11-4-3, No. 9)
Section 5 — Totino-Grace (10-10-0, No. 26)
Section 6 — Waconia (16-1-2, No. 7)
Section 7 — Hermantown (12-6-2, No. 25)
Section 8 — Sartell (15-2-2, No. 6)
Note that Waconia beat No. 1-ranked Breck 2-1 in an overtime shootout for the section championship.
That might move it ahead of Sartell.
Even then, the Sabres look like a top four seed.
They’d play either Wednesday and Thursday or Thursday and Friday. A variety of sites are possible, including Husky Stadium. That won’t be announced until Saturday.
On an unrelated note, if the QRF is nearly infallible or at least better than coaches’ seedings, how come no team higher than No. 6 even qualified for state?
Sartell’s girls have a more difficult journey to a top-five seed.
More top-rated QRF teams will be in the field, though one section final was scheduled to be played Friday night.
Here’s how the Class A girls field is shaping up:
Section 1 — La Crescent (17-1-0, No. 4)
Section 2 — Mankato West (11-6-2, No. 39) or Albert Lea (13-5-1, No. 33)
Section 3 — Blake (15-3-1, No. 2)
Section 4 — Hill-Murray (11-6-1, No. 7)
Section 5 — Totino-Grace (12-4-4, No. 10)
Section 6 — Benilde-St. Margaret’s (15-3-1, No. 3)
Section 7 — Duluth Denfeld (13-3-3, No. 14)
Section 8 — Sartell (14-4-2, No. 17)
Just based on the QRF, it looks like Breck, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, La Crescent and Hill-Murray will get top four seeds.
Totino-Grace, Duluth Denfeld and Sartell will vy for No. 5.
* St. Cloud Cathedral activities director Emmett Keenan is a member of the Minnesota State High School League board of directors and a former long-time soccer coach. He said there is a rule that if one school has boys’ and girls’ teams in the state tournament, those teams will play at the same site at different times.
That doesn’t necessarily mean it will be at Husky Stadium, but it’s good news for Sartell fans who want to catch both games.
* The state Class A boys semifinals are noon and 2 p.m. Oct. 28 at the Metrodome. The final is 12:30 p.m. Oct. 31.
The state Class A girls semifinals are 8 a.m. and 10 a.m. Oct 28 at the Metrodome. The final is 10 a.m. Oct. 31.