The Cathedral boys soccer team is back in the Class A State Tournament after defeating Fergus Falls 2-0 last week in Sauk Centre in the Section 8A final.  The Crusaders graduated 7 starters which includes their goaltender last season on a state tournament team that finished 15-3.

This year's team is 17-1 and is seeded 5th in the Class A state tournament.  They'll match up with 4th seeded St. Paul Academy and Summit School at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at Eden Prairie High School in the state quarterfinals.  Cathedral has 82 goals scored this season and just 7 goals against.

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I was joined on WJON by Cathedral head coach Alex Hess, junior Jacob Plante and senior Lucas Hanson.  Plante says he had no idea how good they would be this season and had question marks about team chemistry and how they would play.  He says they thought they would need to play a different style of soccer but they figured it out quickly.  Hanson says they've been able to keep opponents from scoring because of their strong backline and how defensive minded this year's team is.  He says communication on the field has really helped as well.  Hanson says the team has a lot of younger talent but the team chemistry was good early in the season.

Hess says they try and schedule tough non conference opponents each year.  This year they played Duluth Marshall, Orono and Alexandria.  He says they would like to play both Tech and Apollo but because Tech and Apollo are Class AA schools and Cathedral is a A school the potential downside for Tech and Apollo keeps these games from happening.  It could hurt Tech and Apollo in section seedings if they would lose to a Class A school.

Hess says they always want to play the best teams because he says "to be the best you have to beat the best."  Cathedral lost in the Class A State Quarterfinals last season to Pine Island-Zumbrota-Mazeppa 1-0 in Monticello.  Plante says it would be great to win Thursday and play at U.S. Bank Stadium in the State Semifinals.

Coach Alex Hess also won the Minnesota Class A Coach of the Year award this year.

If you'd like to listen to my conversation with Coach Hess, Lucas Hanson and Jacob Plante it is available below.  The bracket for the Class A State Tournament.

 

 

Behind the Scenes: A WJON News Series

 

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