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St. Michael-Albertville earns redemption, tops Moorhead to win Section 8AAA boys soccer championship

Junior midfielder Jarod Timlin's goal in the 37th minute stood as the game-winner for the Knights, who fell to the Spuds in the title game last season.

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The St. Michael-Albertville Knights celebrate their win against Moorhead during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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MOORHEAD — One year ago, the St. Michael-Albertville boys soccer team walked off of the pitch at Moorhead's Jim Gotta Stadium feeling the agony of defeat after the Spuds topped the Knights in the Section 8AAA championship game.

One year later, the script has been flipped. Back at Jim Gotta Stadium, the third-seeded Knights were the victors this time around, topping one-seeded Moorhead 1-0 behind junior midfielder Jarod Timlin's goal in the 37th minute.

With the win, the Knights (9-9-1) advanced to the Minnesota boys soccer state tournament for the first time in program history.

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Moorhead’s Mohamed Abdi races towards the ball against St. Michael-Albertville’s Alex Hernandez during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

"The boys played their hearts out and Moorhead has got a great team," said STMA head coach Tomas Rodriguez. "It took a lot to battle against them but we held it and we worked on closing games out all season. This is the one that really counts so we're happy about it."

Timlin scored on a corner kick sent into the box which he headed in past Spuds junior goalkeeper Dalton Songstad for the 1-0 lead.

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It was a heck of a tournament for Timlin, who had 13 goals entering the Knights' semifinal match against second-seeded Brainerd on Tuesday. He scored all four goals for STMA in that one — including the game-winner with 49 seconds remaining to top the Warriors 4-3 — before his 18th tally of the year on Thursday held up as the eventual winner against the Spuds.

"I was talking to my teammate and had him set a screen for me because that's what we did last game in the semifinals when I got my header goal," Timlin said. "The same thing happened. I started running for the front post and I happened to be there and I put it in and got lucky.

"I couldn't have done it without my teammates and especially my coaches."

Rodriguez added that Timlin is always the go-to guy for finishing plays.

"We just wanted to make sure we made every set play worth it and (Timlin) is a good finisher," Rodriguez said. "We've also got other guys who know how to play the ball in well. We've just been blessed to have a good attacking team and Jarod's been a big piece of that."

The Spuds had their chances, including a ball that rung off the far post on a corner kick attempt that was headed on net with 14 minutes remaining in the first half. But Moorhead was unable to rally and ended its season 13-5-1.

"It was a fine margins game and we knew it was going to be a fine margins game," Spuds head coach Ben Patrie said. "(STMA) is a very good team and absolutely very capable of beating us and we knew that. We beat them by one last time and they beat us by one this time. We knew it was going to be — in playoffs especially — not a lot of goals usually. They came out with that one corner goal and we hit the post on a corner.

"It was a very even game. Probably for a neutral (spectator), a good game. Unfortunately, I'm not a neutral."

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Moorhead’s Mohammed Namuq battles for the ball against St. Michael-Albertville’s Nathan Schwarz during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Patrie said he thanked his 10 seniors and the rest of his team for all they've contributed to the program in an emotional post-game huddle.

"I just told them it's an honor," Patrie said. "They're a fantastic group of young men and I think they left everything and they deserve to be praised for the season that they had. Players like (senior forward) Revar (Qaqos) and (senior defender/midfielder) Osama Allawi and (senior forward) Mohammed (Namuq) — the Three Amigos as we call them — I've known them since they were in eighth grade and so it's obviously something that's a program loss.

"Of course it hurts, but we'll reload again and I think those guys will play a lot more soccer in their lives."

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Moorhead’s Revar Qaqos hugs St. Michael-Albertville’s Maverick Kneefe following their loss during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Final shot attempts were unofficially 10-7 in favor of STMA. Songstad made two saves for Moorhead while Knights senior goalkeeper Riley Roberts recorded one save.

Each team had three corner kicks apiece.

The Class 3A state tournament quarterfinals are set for Oct. 25-27. STMA awaits its first-round opponent and site as seedings will not be announced by the MSHSL until Saturday.

"We're super excited," Rodriguez said. "We're just happy to be there. We're happy with where we're at and hopefully we can make some changes up there, too."

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Moorhead’s Osama Allawi battles against St. Michael-Albertville’s Nathan Schwarz over control of the ball during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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Moorhead’s Abdisamic Ibrahim battles against St. Michael-Albertville’s Carter Ranweiler for the ball during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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St. Michael-Albertville’s Riley Roberts jumps up to protect the goal against Moorhead during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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St. Michael-Albertville’s Jaxson Bean heads the ball against Moorhead’s Osama Allawi during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum
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St. Michael-Albertville’s Riley Roberts, Maverick Kneefe, and their fellow team captains walk to receive their team trophy after the team’s win against Moorhead during the MN Section 8AAA boys soccer championship game on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, at Jim Gotta Stadium.
Alyssa Goelzer/The Forum

Ryan Spitza joined The Forum in December 2021 as a sports reporter. He grew up in Marquette, Mich., a city of 20,000 on the southern shore of Lake Superior. He majored in multimedia journalism and minored in public relations at Northern Michigan University, graduating with a Bachelor of Science in May 2019. While attending college, Spitza gained real-world experience covering high school and college athletics for both The Mining Journal and The North Wind.

Spitza can be reached at 701-451-5613 or rspitza@forumcomm.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryspitza.
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