The Mayo boys soccer team is used to being the underdog this postseason.

That started with the Spartans' Section 1AAA semifinal against Big Nine Conference champion and intra-city rival Century, which had defeated the Spartans 1-0 during the regular season.

Mayo got its revenge with a 2-1 victory that saw Yonis Muse net a pair of goals. The senior also scored in Mayo’s section championship upset victory over top-seeded Lakeville South. That also avenged a Spartans loss, a 3-1 defeat on Sept. 1. Xavi Laack gave the Spartans the lead in the first half, becoming the 19th different player to score this season in the 2-0 win and Mayo landed its first state appearance since 2015.

It seemed the Spartans were a favorite then to be seeded in the state tournament. Yet, when the brackets were released on Saturday, Mayo discovered that not only was it not given a seed, but it was going to go up against No. 1 seed Minneapolis Southwest in the state Class AAA quarterfinals at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday at Farmington High School.

Newsletter signup for email alerts

“I was a little surprised and disappointed,” Mayo coach Tim Jennings said. “As an engineer, I have a healthy respect for math and statistics. Based on Minnesota's statistical methodology, QRF, we were the fourth highest ranked team going into the tournament, behind Duluth East, Minneapolis Southwest and Mounds View. So I think we should have been seeded. Ultimately, we can't control who and when we play, we can only control how we prepare for our game. That's what we plan to do.

“Having said that, there are no weak teams in the state tournament. We fully expected to play a challenging team in the quarterfinals.”

The Spartans scrimmaged Minneapolis Southwest in August, so they will have some sort of idea of what to expect. The Lakers last reached state in 2013 and are looking for their first state title. They are 14-0-2, having outscored opponents 67-8 and are ranked fifth in Class AAA.

“They are a very strong team with a lot of talented players who move the ball well,” Jennings said. “It should be a great game.”

The Spartans (14-3) have won nine in a row, having not lost since a 1-0 defeat to Century on Sept. 23. They've outscored opponents 31-6 in that span and have a QRF value of 86.9, ninth best in Class AAA and third best in the state. Lakeville South had the top QRF value at 105.7, while Century was 10th.

Mayo has done it behind a defense that has veteran leadership in captain Adam McLellan-Cassivi, who provides communication and a steady force in the back end. Goalkeeper Jack Hobday has made some crucial saves along the way as well. It allows midfielders Muse and Bryan Islas-Aguirre to play offense, and they are more than capable of playing the role of attacker.

"They just bring a really dynamic piece to the team," senior attacker Tim Persons said. "Game is different when they are in."

That dynamic aspect is part of the reason Mayo felt it should have been seeded. Now they are out to prove that they should be on everybody's radar.

"We have amazing players," McLellan-Cassivi said. "But what we have is even better than that, as everybody plays for the same purpose."