North Pole girls soccer returns to D-2 State Tournament while Monroe Catholic earns first ever berth

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FAIRBANKS, Alaska - We will also have two interior representatives at the Division 2 level.
We'll start with the North Pole girls, who will be making a return to the State Tournament. ​
Only the top team in the Mid Alaska Conference earned a tournament berth for both the Boys and Girls classes. ​
North Pole and Hutchison were the only schools who were able to field full girls teams. ​
In the regular season series between those two squads, they actually tied twice, but North Pole earned a trip to state by beating Hutch on May 7th.​
This is the second consecutive state trip for the North Pole girls, who reached that milestone for the first time last season. ​
The Patriots have put their focus on the defensive side this season, and hope that the old adage that "defense wins championships" pays off. ​
Katy Vinton said "We've been focusing more on our defensive game more than our offensive game. So we just kind of work our way up through the pitch and working our way up until we get to that goal. So, it's hard not being able to score that many goals, especially me playing up at the top. But, it's nice knowing that we have a good defense that is down that can keep us from getting scored on." ​
And last but certainly not least, we have a team making history.
The Monroe Catholic Rams are heading down for their first Division 2 Tournament appearance. ​
The Rams will be going in as the Mid Alaska Conference Champions and will be the fourth seed overall. ​
They'll be playing the Thunder Mountain Falcons in their first ever state tournament game. ​
The Rams went 8-2-1 overall this season, with their only losses coming to the West Valley Wolfpack. ​
They went 8-0-1 in MAC play. ​
We talked to the two team captains before they left this morning about how they feel heading to state for the first time. ​
Maura Grahek said "We were ecstatic. We were just so happy. It didn't even settle in until a few minutes after the game like, we're really going to state. We were beyond excited."​
​Jordan Higbee said​"I'm excited. I mean, I've never heard of Thunder Mountain's soccer program so I hope they're pretty good and give us a challenge. But I hope we beat them."​