Academic rigidity prevailed over common sense and will send the Bemidji Lumberjacks boys soccer team to St. Cloud Tuesday to face Cathedral in a match of the top two remaining teams in the section.
The winner advances to Thursday's final at 5:30 at St. Cloud State.
The ruling came after the section committee refused to alter the pairings following Crookston's 3-2 upset win over top seeded Detroit Lakes Thursday. Crookston will head to Sartell in the second semifinal.
The Pirates were the fifth seed in the north, Sartell was the third in the south, upsetting second seeded Minnewaska 3-0 in the second round Thursday.
Cathedral advanced with a 3-1 win over Little Falls which had ousted Becker 5-1.
Sartell won its opener 2-1 over St. John's Prep and Minnewaska beat Sauk Rapids 4-0.
Normal policy in cross bracketing would be to match the top ranked north team against the second rated south unit and vice versa. This is done annually in the tennis playoffs though that change is easier since the final two rounds are played at the same site.
The section committee cited transportation problems for sticking with the pre arranged schedule despite the fact that five days separated Thursday's second round from Tuesday's third.
Coach Rick Toward was bitterly disappointed in the move and determined to bring about changes in the regulation before next season.
As now constituted, what may well be the championship game will be played Tuesday. Bemidji will carry a 12-4-2 mark into play, one win short of its all time record posted in 2007.
Cathedral, the defending section champion, is 15-0-2 this year.