St. Paul United is back in “The Tourney” after 3-1 redemption win over South Saint Paul
February 14, 2016
The Road to State for St. Paul United is now over, they are there. For the second time in three years, the co-op of St. Paul Academy and Visitation has qualified for the state tournament. This time, United “earned it”.
“[Two years ago] Obviously we made it to state but it was on a technicality,” junior Clare Tipler said, referring to the forfeit of Achiever Academy which gave United their state tournament berth in 2014, “This time we earned it and it feels so good…so good.”
Tipler made it evident how great it felt by coming out of the locker room and yelling, “We Won!”
United got their berth to state by beating the team that spoiled United’s hopes last year, South Saint Paul, 3-1, and never really gave the Packers much of a chance. Senior Catherine Johnson was solid in net all night long, giving up one goal on 19 shots.
“[Getting this win] is amazing; I can’t really describe this feeling,” Johnson said, “We’ve worked so hard ever since we started in June. Now, it’s paid off.”
“With 30 seconds left I just started bawling my eyes out,” Tipler said, “like we just made history, we are the first [United] team to win a section championship game.”
It was evident all season long that not only did United want to beat South Saint Paul, they wanted to put in the work to beat South Saint Paul and win the section to make it to state. Any team wants to win, but this team wants to put in the work to win. That is what sets them apart from their opponents and what should make them an example for any team on how to achieve a goal.
There is one more goal that Saint Paul United has yet to accomplish. Beating Blake. The Blake School Bears also qualified for the state tournament as the #1 seed with their overtime win over top ranked Breck in the section 5A final, also on Thursday night.
“[To beat them] is our goal,” Tipler said, “Obviously, going to state was our number one goal, but now that we’re there, we have to amp it up again and our goal is to win the championship. Hopefully we get to play Blake at the X on Saturday.”
This season, United as come has close as they have ever come to beating The Blake School. The two games, a two goal win for Blake on Jan. 5 and a one goal win for Blake on Jan. 26, showed that United could beat Blake.
“I’m confident in our team that we an beat them,” Johnson said, “We’ve come close this year and this our time to beat them.”
To get to a possible match-up against The Blake School, United will have to first beat Alexandria on Wed. Feb 17 and then a semifinal game against the winner of Warroad-Northfield.
To see full the full State Tournament bracket click here
St. Paul United’s first state tournament game comes at 1 pm on Wednesday, Feb 17 at the Xcel Energy Center against the section 6A champs and 9th ranked Alexandria Cardinals.