HIBBING — Year in, year out, the Hibbing/Chisholm High School boys soccer team has has had a tough time beating Hermantown.
The Hawks have owned the Bluejackets during the regular and playoffs.
This year, Hermantown beat Hibbing/Chisholm 6-2 during the regular season.
The Bluejackets will get a chance to finally unburden themselves from the Hawks when the two teams meet in a Section 7AA first-round playoff game today in Hermantown, beginning at 4:30 p.m.
Hermantown is the No. 4 seeded team, while the Bluejackets are seeded No. 5.
Hibbing/Chisholm coach Jen Forer believes her team has a shot at ending all of those years of frustration.
“After we played them, I feel we’re going to have an even matchup today,” Forer said. “We watched some film of our game against them, and a lot of times when they scored, it was due to a turnover or mental lapse that we had.
“It wasn’t because of anything they did skillfully or well. I’m not taking anything away from them, but if we can play our game, play solid in passing, communicating and defense, I expect it to be a game we can stay in and have a chance to beat them.”
The key is not having those mental lapses because good teams take advantage of them.
“We’ve been talking about trust all season, and this is where they need to show that they trust each other when they’re passing the ball and moving the ball up the field,” Forer said. “We’re almost 100-percent healthy, so we should be familiar with each other.
“There’s no excuses. We have to go out and execute.”
Hermantown does play a physical game, so that’s something the Bluejackets have to handle.
“We have to respond by staying within ourselves and not getting frustrated,” Forer said. “We have to beat them to the ball. If we beat them to the ball, they won’t have a chance to get there and rough us up.”
Offensively, there’s a good chance that Alex Chacich might receive a little attention from the Hawks’ defense.
Does that open it up for anyone else to score some goals?
“The nice thing is we have Jacob (Jensrud) to fall back on with his speed,” Forer said. “We’ve got powerful shooters in the midfield, with Reed (Kearney) and Peyton (Taylor). We worked today on crashing the ball.
“Anybody on the field is capable of scoring if they have that hunger to get to the net. If they key on Alex, that’s going to open up somebody else getting the goals. If Alex gets the assist or the goal, we hope that he, Jacob or the midfield are clicking together.”