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Adapted soccer: Thunderbolts storm into state tournament

Senior Nick Jones of South Washington County stops an offensive kick in the second half against Minneapolis Roosevelt. John Molene / contributor1 / 3
Bryce Smith of the Thunderbolts gets congratulations from Tyler Tinnucci (left) and Elizabeth Schmidt after scoring a goal in the second half against Minneapolis Roosevelt. John Molene / contributor2 / 3
Tyler Tinnucci of the Thunderbolts brings the ball up under pressure from a Minneapolis opponent. Tinnucci scored five goals to held the Thunderbolts score an 11-1 win in a state-qualifying game. John Molene / contributor3 / 3

The South Washington County Thunderbolts breezed into the 2017 state tournament with another lopsided win Nov 8.

The Thunderbolts downed visiting Minneapolis Roosevelt 11-1 in section play at East Ridge to advance to the adapted soccer state tournament in the CI Division.

Ninth-grade forward Tyler Tinnucci scored five goals and added an assist to pace the Thunderbolts. Senior Bryce Smith scored two goals. Nathan Ponder had a goal and three assists.

South Washington County will take a perfect 10-0 record into the state tournament Nov. 17-18 at Stillwater High School. The Thunderbolts earned the top seed from the southeast division and will play a second-seeded team from the northeast division in the opening round. That game will be held Friday starting at 8 p.m.

All eight teams will play Saturday either in the championship or consolation rounds.

The Thunderbolts have a history of doing well in the tournament, winning state titles in 1997, 1998 and 2014. South Washington County finished fourth last season. Smith and Tinnucci were both named to the all-tournament team last season.

The key to doing well at state is simple, said Smith, all the team has to do is "work harder and pass it more." Smith will be playing in his sixth consecutive state tournament.

To get ready for state, where the competition is much harder than the regular season, the Thunderbolts will go in practice against the coaches this week.

"We will really press the guys," said assistant coach Jeff Figimiller. "The coaches are actually practicing against the players to try and get them into positions."

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