By Ren Clayton

MINNEAPOLS (WCCO) —  The St. Paul Humboldt boys soccer team are playing in just their second ever state tournament.

The Hawks squeaked by Rochester Lourdes in the semifinal Thursday 1-0, to earn a matchup with Southwest Christian in the championship on Saturday.

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“It’s very cool for me, as a senior, and it’s very cool for me and every other senior. To be in the state final, that’s even cooler than making it to state,” said senior forward Yah Oo.

Humboldt is playing for the first state title in any sport since 1947.

“We have more kids in the soccer program than any other athletic program at the school,” said St. Paul Humboldt head coach John Pucci. “So in a small sense it’s always been a really local sense of pride. But to see it put on a statewide pedestal has been really, really cool.”

The history making team will also impact those they play for. All but one of the players on the team come from families who were refugees from Thailand or Myanmar (formally known as Burma.)

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“This is a big moment, not just for the team but for the community, especially the Karen community,” said senior midfielder Hser Htoo. “Everybody is proud of us and they look forward to us winning the state championship.”

400 Karen people came out for a banquet today, supporting their team.

“The sense of pride that has evoked out of this run is something that I’ve never been a part of before. And it’s a feeling I can’t describe. It’s magical,” said Pucci

St. Paul Humboldt plays Southwest Christian in the State Championship game at 8:30 p.m. at US Bank Stadium on Saturday.

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Ren Clayton