Spartan boys’ ready for Class AA state quarterfinals

Spearfish’s AJ Covell, right, prepares to shoot during a varsity boys’ soccer game earlier this season. Covell and his Spartans’ teammates will host Sioux Falls O’Gorman at 6 p.m. Saturday in a class AA second-round playoff game. Pioneer file photo

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SPEARFISH — Spearfish will host Sioux Falls O’Gorman in a class AA boys’ soccer playoff game today at 6 p.m. from the Black Hills Energy complex.

Second-seeded Spearfish boasts a record of 13 wins, zero losses, and two ties. O’Gorman (7-4-3) enters the game as the number 7 seed.

“We’ve got to come out just physically and mentally ready to play hard,” Spearfish head coach Jim Hill said.

These teams met Aug. 22 in Sioux Falls. Spearfish emerged with a 1-0 victory.

Facing an opponent a team has defeated earlier in the season requires a certain mindset for that second contest.

“You can’t go in with that mindset that ‘we’re going to win,’” Hill said.  “You have to go in thinking that anything can happen, and we need to be ready for it.”

Hill said it is important for the Spartans to not over-think things. “Just go play like we know how,” he added.

O’Gorman boasts two really quick players up front, according to Hill. He said they are very adept with the ball.

Spearfish needs to stay organized on defense, Hill said. He added communication is also vital.

Hill has previously said the team needs to move down the end lines and pass back, instead of trying to take the ball down the middle. He agreed that is also the aim for Saturday.

“Teams don’t have to be the greatest defenders when you come straight at them,” Hill said. “You get one little touch, and it disrupts the attack.”

Spearfish defeated Brookings 5-1 in a first-round playoff game Tuesday. AJ Covell scored two goals for the Spartans; Rudy Isburg, Brock Bacon, and Brody Janvrin each added a goal.

Sioux Falls O’Gorman defeated Huron 4-2 in the first round.

The winner of this game will face the Watertown-Sioux Falls Lincoln winner in a semifinal game set for Tuesday, Oct. 13.

Two other games are on Saturday’s schedule.

Top-seeded Rapid City Stevens will host number 9 seed Sioux Falls Washington. Aberdeen Central, the fourth seed, plays host to number 5 seed Sioux Falls Roosevelt.

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