CLOQUET, Minn. -- In what was an abbreviated regular season for high school boys soccer teams in the Northland, one team emerged as the team to beat.
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton finished their schedule a perfect 11-0, including wins over both Duluth East and Duluth Denfeld. The Lumberjacks entered the section 7A playoffs as the top overall seed, with the confidence of their regular season results behind them.
Duluth Denfeld entered the 7A quarterfinals with a lot to play for, boasting a talent-packed roster of 12 seniors. The 8-seed Hunters had cruised past Hermantown in the first round, ready for their huge impending matchup with the Lumberjacks.
Throughout the first half of the quarterfinal game, Denfeld was content allowing possession, while not giving up a scoring chance strong enough to put CEC on the scoreboard.
Each side hit the post numerous time in the second half, before senior midfielder Owen Wilcox finally found the back of the net. With just over seven minutes to go, Simon Davidson sent a cross into the box, setting up Wilcox for the game-winner.
The Hunters stunned the Lumberjacks with a 1-0 win at Bromberg Field, CEC's first loss of the season.
Up next, Duluth Denfeld will head Grand Rapids to take on the 5-seed Thunderhawks in the semifinals. For the full 7A boys soccer bracket, click here.