Day one of soccer MAC tournament cements semifinals

NORTH POLE, AK-It was a full day of the Mid Alaska Conference soccer quarterfinals and fans at Newby Field saw the favorites handle business and an unexpected victory in the last game.

In the early afternoon game the Lathrop boys blew out the Eielson Ravens with a 14-0 win. The Malemutes will face a local rival in the second round.

The Lathrop girls team made quick work of the Ravens as well. The Malemutes generated five goals in the first half then added two more in the second for a 7-0 win.

The boys soccer game tonight turned out to be a bit of thriller between Monroe and Hutchison. Monroe fielded a co-ed team so they could play since a number of their boys players are participating in the ASAA Alaska Track and Field State Championships this weekend. But Monroe would make do.

The Rams went into halftime with 1-0 lead after a shot from about 25 yards out deflected twice off of Hawk defenders and some how managed to slip past Hutchison's goalie on his inside post to the right side. A bizarre goal to say the least but that wouldn't be the end of that.

Monroe came out aggressive in the second half and this goal came down to a timely foot. A corner kick bounced in front of Monroe's Will Frank. Frank attempted a shot but the ball bounced in the air and Hawks defender tried to clear the zone with a header. The ball went off his forehead and bounced in front of Frank again who kicked it high over the same defender and the arc of the ball fall right through the goalie's hands for another score. 2-0 Monroe.

Hutchison would battle back with a goal few minutes later to cut the deficit to 2-1 but Monroe cashed in on another Hawks' error. The Rams made a rush off another corner kick and a header by Monroe seemed to be blocked except it bounced right off a defender's head and got past the goalie once more. Monroe wins 3-1 and moves on the the MAC semifinals.

Now the MAC Tournament semifinals are set.

In girls soccer it will be a grudge match at 1:45 between West Valley and North Pole. At 5:30 the number one seed Hutchison Hawks will face the Lathrop Malemutes.

In the boys bracket Lathrop will face their rival. The number two seeded Wolfpack of West Valley. In the last game of the evening the number one seed North Pole Patriots will take on the upstart Monroe Rams.