John's Journal
Here's The Soccer Lineup At The Metrodome10/29/2012
Tuesday’s Soccer Schedule at the Metrodome…

Duluth Marshall defeated St. Cloud Cathedral 2-1 in 1A boys third-place game
South St. Paul defeated Totino-Grace 2-1 in 1A girls third-place game
White Bear Lake defeated Lakeville North 1-0 in overtime in 2A girls semifinal
Wayzata defeated Blaine 4-1 in 2A girls semifinal
4 p.m./ Bloomington Jefferson vs. Stillwater in 2A boys third-place game

Thursday’s Soccer Schedule at the Metrodome…

8 a.m./ Lakeville North vs. Wayzata or Blaine in 2A girls third-place game
10 a.m./ Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Blake in 1A girls championship game
12:30 p.m./ St. Paul Academy and Summit School vs. Rochester Lourdes in 1A boys championship game
3 p.m./ White Bear Lake vs. Wayzata or Blaine in 2A girls championship game
5:30 p.m./ Blaine vs. Eastview in 2A boys championship game
A Full Day Of State Soccer Semifinals At The Metrodome10/28/2012
The Metrodome is Soccer Central on Monday as the girls and boys state semifinals are played. The games start early in the day and continue into the evening. Here is Monday’s schedule…

8 a.m./ Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. South St. Paul in Class 1A girls
10 a.m./ Blake vs.Totino-Grace in 1A girls
Noon/ St. Paul Academy and Summit School vs. St. Cloud Cathedral in Class 1A boys
2 p.m./ Duluth Marshall vs. Rochester Lourdes in 1A boys
4 p.m./ Blaine vs. Bloomington Jefferson in Class 2A boys
6 p.m./ Stillwater vs. Eastview in 2A boys.

The semifinals will be completed Tuesday with these games…

Noon/ Lakeville North vs. White Bear Lake in Class 2A girls
2 p.m./ Wayzata vs. Blaine in 2A girls

Third-place games will be played Tuesday at the Dome in Class 2A boys, 1A boys and 1A girls. The 2A girls third-place game will be played Thursday, along with all four state championship games.
The Surprising Edina Hornets Have Some Sting10/27/2012
Edina’s emergence as a Class 6A power has been one of the surprise stories of the football season. The Hornets closed the regular season with road wins at Hopkins, Wayzata and Eden Prairie and claimed the Lake Conference title. They opened the Class 6A playoffs with a victory over Armstrong on Friday. Read Brian Jerzak's story about the Hornets by clicking here
A Steady Rise To The Top For St. Paul Academy’s Das10/26/2012
Sonya Das has steadily, one medal at a time, played her way to the top of Class 1A girls tennis in Minnesota. The junior from St. Paul Academy and Summit School finished third in the singles tournament as a ninth-grader, took home a second-place medal a year ago and finally captured the ultimate prize on Friday at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in Minneapolis.

Her 6-0, 6-3 victory over Breck junior Patricia Zhao was the capstone on her climb to the top, and her smile said everything afterwards.

“It feels great,” Sonya said. “Freshman year for third, last year second, it feels really great to finally get it.”

Das did not lose a set in four matches at the state tournament. The championship matchup with Zhao followed the tournament seeds; Zhao came in as the No. 1 seed and Das was No. 2. Zhao defeated Das in the Section 4 title match, but Sonya had won their two meetings during the regular season. Das and Zhao are friends who train at Lifetime Fitness in Fridley.

“Patty beat me in sections so (the seeding) was understandable,” Das said. “We didn’t know who was going to win.”

The tone was set quickly Friday, with Das rolling to the first-set victory. Zhao made her work hard in the second set but couldn’t counter enough to win the set.

“They play in the offseason together, they train together, they have a really good friendship,” said SPA coach Lauren Oien. “They definitely know each other’s games.

“The best thing that could happen was that she and Patty played in the finals, because she knew Patty’s game and she knew exactly what she needed to do to win.”

Adding to the big day for St. Paul Academy and Summit School was a doubles state title for seniors Sarah Hays and Gina Nguyen. They defeated the Blake senior duo of Abby Rickeman and Maddy Hall 6-4, 6-0 to take the gold.

After the matches ended, Das, Hays, Nguyen and their coach hugged, smiled and posed as parents’ cameras clicked. Das said her prior state experience made her more comfortable Friday.

“Definitely last year was different, playing in front of such a big audience,” she said. “I’m a little bit more used to it this year, so I was prepared for it.”

Oien said Das’ state title was no surprise. “Her progression, as she matured, she knew exactly what she needed to work on. And she focused on those and she succeeded far beyond anyone’s expectations.

“She’s just a warrior and a fighter. It kind of developed throughout the years. I had her as a little seventh-grader and we’ve tried to pull out that warrior and now there she is.”

--In Class 2A, Rochester Century sisters Katie and Jessie Aney won the doubles crown with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over sisters Morgan and Mackenzi Marinovich of Edina. The singles champion was junior Summer Brills of Mounds View, who defeated Edina seventh-grader Sophia Reddy 6-4, 6-7 (5), 6-1.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 224
*Miles John has driven: 3,691
(*During the 2012-13 school year)

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter @MSHSLjohn
A Day For Sisters At Girls State Tennis Tournament10/25/2012
The Class 2A doubles bracket at the girls state tennis tournament has a very definite theme: Sisters. One-quarter of the 16 doubles teams are sisters, with three of those pairs positioned at the bottom end of the bracket.

The biggest story among all the sisters are the Aneys from Rochester Century. That’s because ninth-grader Jessica Aney, the defending state single champion, chose to play doubles this year with her sister Katherine, a junior. They are known simply as Jessie and Katie, and they defeated two other sister teams Thursday to advance to Friday’s semifinals.

The Aneys opened with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Laura and Cassy Finn of Delano, then defeated Taylor and Chase Shortly of Forest Lake. Both Aney sisters played singles Tuesday and Wednesday in the team competition, so they had to make a hasty switch to doubles.

“The first match was a little rough but I thought we played pretty well,” Katie said after Thursday’s quarterfinals. In Friday’s semifinals they will meet Meghan Herring and Kelly Reger of Edina. The other semifinal will be between sisters Morgan and Mackenzi Marinovich of Edina and the Centennial team of Kelly Jachymowski and Courtney Klair.

The Aneys (Jessie is pictured at right) have captured the spotlight based on two main factors: Jessie’s decision to skip a chance at a repeat singles title and the joy that they show on the court. The sisters smile frequently and share an abundance of high fives.

“Fun. That’s what it’s all about,” said Katie. “Jessie’s always been a singles player and I’m a doubles player. She won state last year in singles, so she thought it would be cool to try to do doubles. And we’re sisters, and best friends, too.”

Century coach Josh Heiden said the decision to play singles or doubles was Jessie’s.

“I think Jessie was a little nervous about it, thinking what other people would think,” Heiden said. “I think she sometimes thinks about that too much; ‘People come to the state tournament and I feel like they want to watch me play singles, and I’m letting them down.’ I told her, ‘You cannot think about that. If you want to play doubles, play doubles. If they were going to come and watch you, they’re going to watch you play doubles or singles.’ ”

A year ago, Jessie was an eighth-grader who blazed through the 2A singles tournament without losing a set in four matches. She was a prohibitive favorite to win another singles title this year, until she made the decision to play doubles with her big sister. Katie, who had never played at state other than the team tournament, laughed about how easy it was to agree to play doubles with Jessie.

“I said something like, ‘If you reallllly want to, I guess I could squeeze it into my schedule,’ ” Katie said with a big smile.

The Aneys also skate on the same line for the Century girls hockey team. “We’re together all the time,” Katie said.

Jessie said, “We’d been thinking about it for a long time and we thought it would be really fun. I love playing singles, too, so it was a really hard decision. But I love playing with my sister and we have a lot of fun together and work well together.”

--Singles and double state champions will be crowned Friday in 2A at the University of Minnesota Baseline Tennis Center and in Class 1A at Reed-Sweatt Family Tennis Center in south Minneapolis.

--To see photos from the girls state tennis tournament, go to the MSHSL Facebook page.

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 224
*Miles John has driven: 3,653
(*During the 2012-13 school year)

--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter @MSHSLjohn