Cloquet-Carlton girls, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton boys soccer defend Section 7AA titles

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Both the Cloquet-Carlton girl’s soccer team and Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (CEC) boy’s soccer team won their Section 7AA championship games on Tuesday.

In Grand Rapids, second seeded Cloquet-Carlton upset top-seeded Grand Rapids 4-2 to clinch their fourth straight section title. Rapids’ Taylor Birkey scored the first goal, while Macava Smith, Lauren Hughes, Makayla Stirewalt, and Alexa Snesrud scored for the Lumberjacks. Cloquet-Carlton improves to 15-3-1 heading into their second straight state tournament.

Grand Rapids finishes the year 12-4-1.

At Proctor’s Egerdahl Field, top-seeded CEC defended their title holding off second seeded Denfeld 1-0 in a rematch of the 2021 title game. Collin Young scored the game winner to send the Lumberjacks back to state.

“It’s a relief. Being the number one seed and coming in, we knew Denfeld wanted to to get some revenge from last year, and earlier in the season, and they really brought it on us,” CEC head coach John Sundquist said.

“We just got to be prepared. Last year we came in like we were happy to go state. But this year, we knew that we could do it. So now we have be ready for the next game, and we know we can go farther than just the first game,” junior defender Joe Bailey said.

CEC improves to 15-2 while Denfeld finishes the season 12-6-1.

The boy’s and girl’s state soccer tournament kicks off October 25.