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Boys' soccer: East Ridge misses share of SEC title

East Ridge senior captain Grant Tostenrud races downfield with the ball in the first overtime against Roseville on Thursday, Oct. 5. John Molene / contributor 1 / 4
East Ridge senior goalie Jack Wagner makes a stop in front of the net in the first half of the Thursday, Oct. 5, game against Roseville. John Molene / contributor2 / 4
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East Ridge's Drew Kansas (12), Brennan Featherstone (15), Andrew Engh (14) and Jacob Redden (13) surround the ball in the second half Thursday, Oct. 5. John Molene / contributor4 / 4

An aggressive Roseville squad denied East Ridge all over the field Thursday, Oct. 5, including on the scoreboard.

Roseville and the eighth-ranked Raptors fought to a 0-0 tie through regulation and two overtimes.

It was a tougher tie for the Raptors, however. A win would have given East Ridge a share of the Suburban East Conference title with second-ranked Stillwater. Instead, with the tie, Roseville and Stillwater ended up sharing the SEC title with 6-1-1 records. East Ridge finished just behind at 5-1-2.

"They just played a fantastic side," said East Ridge head coach Anthony Bidwell. "I think Roseville is one of the more talented teams in the section, and the record reflects it. They're definitely talented.

"Obviously the most difficult piece of the game is putting the ball in the back of the net and that's what we struggled with tonight," Bidwell added. "I'm happy with how they played. They've played one tough schedule, probably the toughest since I've been here. So to end like this, we can go out with our heads held high."

The Raptors tied both Stillwater and Roseville, but an upset loss to unranked White Bear Lake ended up costing East Ridge.

Thursday's match was the last regular season game, with both teams advancing to section play next week. Bidwell said he's optimistic the Raptors will get a No. 2 seed in the section and host a first-round game Tuesday.

Stillwater (13-1-1), 10th-ranked Woodbury (10-3), East Ridge and North St. Paul (10-4) should be the top four teams in a rugged Section 4AA tournament.

Both East Ridge and Roseville had several scoring chances, but each time an opening appeared, the defenses rose up to stop it. Senior goalie Jack Wagner had a strong outing for the Raptors, notably in the closing minutes of the first half when he turned away back-to-back scoring threats.

East Ridge had several near-goal misses in the second half, including two corner kicks in the last five minutes of regulation. They couldn't connect on either corner kick, and another attempt by the Raptors hit the crossbar and bounced off in the final minutes.

East Ridge finished the regular season 9-3-2. Roseville, ranked 13th, ended with a 11-3-2 regular-season record.

The tie snapped a three-game winning streak for the Raptors. Roseville came in with seven straight wins.

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