It's not often that a St. Louis Park soccer doubleheader get previewed but Thursday's boys game against the Minneapolis South Tigers is significant for a couple of reasons.
First, it's a rematch of last year's Section 6AA championship game, with the Tigers shutting out the Orioles 2-0 at Minneapolis Roosevelt. South's home field doesn't have lights.
Second, it could have an impact on the seedings for this year's road to the state tournament. According to minnesotascores.net, South is 2-1 against section opponents, St. Louis Park is 2-0-1. In the section standings, the Orioles are second with an overall record of 9-1-1 and the Tigers are fifth with a record of 6-4.
Last season, South played in their first state tournament since 1993 and lost in a shootout to Bloomington Jefferson. They lost eight players to graduation. The Orioles return a number of key players from last year's team, including Artis Ciriskis and John Kinney. Sophomore Eric Hendricks has played very solidly in goal and recorded four shutouts.
The key to the game for St. Louis Park is to continue the scoring momentum that led them to a seven goal second half Tuesday night against Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony and continue to play solid defense.
Game time is 5 PM. Before you leave for dinner, be sure and stick around and see the Tigers and Orioles girls teams take the field for a 7 PM game. St. Louis Park has won or tied in three of the last four games and has a 5-4-1 record. Mpls. South has had some trouble finding the goal since they have been blanked in their last three games since beating Mpls. Henry on September 17 8-0. Their record is 6-5.
It should be an interesting evening of soccer in St. Louis Park.
Examiner's Note: Research for this article was provided by minnesotascores.net, mshsl.org and the 2012 State Soccer Tournament Program.