Thursday was Championship Soccer Day at the Metrodome, where four state titles were decided. All four games were close and well-played as the Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys (Class 1A), Blake girls (1A), Eden Prairie boys (2A) and Wayzata girls (2A) captured gold.
Two scenes stood out for me Thursday. One was Eastview boys coach Scott Gustafson (right) breaking with tradition ever so slightly during the postgame presentation of medals and trophies. Gustafson shook the hand of every Eden Prairie player, manager and coach after they received their medals. That was a very genuine gesture of sportsmanship.
The other scene has to be witnessed to be believed. Go to the MSHSL Facebook page and watch the video of Benilde-St. Margaret’s Haley Jerabek executing a throw-in. In most cases, players simply stand on the sideline and throw the ball with two hands. But not Haley. As the ball sits on the turf, she runs toward it and performs a flip; she grabs the ball as her hands swing down, then flicks it high in the air as she plants her feet. It is way cool.
Here are the game reports …
1A BOYS/ BENILDE-ST. MARGARET’S 3, PRAIRIE SEEDS ACADEMY 1
The Red Knights (19-3-1) capped off a championship season by handing Prairie Seeds its first loss of the season. The defending state champion Lycans finished with a 19-1-2 record.
Jake Horton gave Benilde-St. Margaret’s a 1-0 lead in the sixth minute and Prairie Seeds’ Carlos Boquin – who missed the state quarterfinals and semifinals because of eligibility issues – tied the score in the 14th minute. Second-half goals by Carter Eckerline and John Mulvahill secured the victory for the Red Knights. Winning goalkeeper Kevin Lebahn made seven saves and the Lycans’ Betzabet Valle stopped three shots.
There were 26 fouls on each team and Prairie Seeds’ Ibrahim Keita was red-carded in the 78th minute.
The quote/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s goalkeeper Kevin Lebahn: “They have a lot of talented players. Our defense was great.”
All-tournament team/ Jake Collins, Mankato West; Julian Garcia-Delaney, Cloquet/Esko/Carlton; Hayden Speaks, Sartell-St. Stephen; Ben Braman, St. Paul Academy and Summit School; Will Elder, Jack Convery, James Armstead, Rochester Lourdes; John Mulvahill, Brendan Schember, Paul Graupner, Jake Horton, Benilde-St. Margaret’s; Oscar Cendejas, Ismaila Jome, Adama Keita, Roberto Dominguea, Prairie Seeds Academy.
1A GIRLS/ BLAKE 1, BENILDE-ST. MARGARET’S 0
Grace Boatman scored with an assist by Hannah Randolph in the final minute of the first half to life the Bears (21-1-0) past Benilde-St. Margaret’s (18-1-3). The Red Knights outshot Blake 10-7, including 6-3 in the first half, but couldn’t get past Bears keeper Maddy Crawford. She made four saves and Benilde keeper Mikayla Coulombe had five saves.
The quote/ Blake coach Paul Menge: “We try to run our forwards across the field rather than straight up and down to create things for their defense to think about. And I think basically what you saw was Grace coming across on a diagonal and we played it over to her. We practice switching and crossing the ball a lot, and it paid off.”
All-tournament team/ Chloe Bachman, St. Peter; Marissa Ricci, South St. Paul; Caitlin Lilly, Esko/Carlton; Stina Haave, Bemidji; Hannah Anderson, Meredith Rolfs, Rochester Lourdes; Abigail Welle, Jennifer Nickasch, Totino-Grace; Mikayla Coulombe, Dana Buckhorn, Peggy Renier, Kelly Pannek, Benilde-St. Margaret’s; Nicole Kozlak, Korlekuor Akiti, Grace Boatman, Lydia Sutton, Blake.
2A BOYS/ EDEN PRAIRIE 3, EASTVIEW 1
Eden Prairie led 1-0 into the late stages of the game before tacking on two quick goals and handing Eastview its first loss of the season. Medo Youssef put the Eagles (16-3-3) on the board in the fourth minute and the score remained 1-0 until Natalio Blanche and Michael Vuolo scored less than a minute apart in the final minutes. Mathew Gweh scored for the Lightning (20-1-1) in the final minute.
Eden Prairie outshot Eastview 17-7 and Eagles keeper Alex Dewey made just one save behind a solid defense. Eastview goalkeeper Sam Rueles made three stops.
The quote/ Eden Prairie’s Medo Youssef: “I think I did pretty good in the middle, just controlling the field and everything. Last week I didn’t control the midfield in the second half very well, so I had to come back and help my team win today.”
All-tournament team/ Derek Herman, Rochester Mayo; Julian Ocampo, North St. Paul; Jason Scheeler, Blaine; Connor Iverson, Anoka; Pat Enright, Alex Niederloch, Maple Grove; Liban Ayanle, Mohamud Abdi, Minneapolis Southwest; Sam Ruelas, Mathew Gweh, Mike Bonderud, Joe Karam, Eastview; Alex Dewey, Roman Derevyanko, Natalio Blanche, Abdur Omar, Eden Prairie.
2A GIRLS/ WAYZATA 2, BURNSVILLE 1 (SHOOTOUT)
The last game of the soccer season was the most suspenseful, with Wayzata and Burnsvile playing through 20 minutes of overtime and into a shootout before the Trojans came away with the victory. It was 1-1 at the end of regulation and through two overtimes, and Wayzata won the shootout 4-3. The winning goal was scored by Chelsey Ulrich in the sixth round of penalty kicks.
Burnsville sophomore Alyssa Blahnik broke a scoreless tie early in the second half, scoring on a breakaway and recording the 50th goal of her career. Wayzata tied it in the 59th minute on a goal by Kiana Nickel.
Goalkeeper Meghann Rudolph of Burnsville (17-5) made 11 saves and Mara Dougherty of Wayzata (18-2-2) had seven saves.
The quote/ Wayzata coach Tony Peszneker: “After we went through our top five (penalty kickers) I said, ‘Who wants to go next?’ We have a top five and a next five and I asked who’s ready to shoot. (Chelsey Ulrich) stepped up and volunteered.”
All-tournament team/Kellie McGahn, Eastview; Emily Erickson, Woodbury; Britney Monteon, Blaine; Kaitlin Beckman, Anoka; Simone Kolander, Breanna Sollie, Lakeville North; Jenna Roering, Megan Lenz, Centennial; Mara Dougherty, Katie Schulz, Kylie Schwarz, Kiana Nickel, Wayzata; Alyssa Blahnik, Meghann Rudolph, Tiana Khamvongsa, Hannah Freden, Burnsville.
--This is a busy time, with section titles being decided in volleyball and football and the state cross-country meet set for Saturday at St. Olaf College in Northfield. I was at a section volleyball semifinal doubleheader at Lakeville South on Wednesday night, at soccer Thursday, I’ll be at a 5A football section final between Eastview and Prior Lake on Friday night and at the cross-country meet bright and early Saturday.
BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has visited: 121
*Miles John has driven: 4,719
*Diet Coke Count: 4 for the day, 22 for the fall tournaments
--Join the MSHSL on Facebook by clicking on the Facebook button on the right side of www.mshsl.org. John Millea is on Twitter at twitter.com/mshsljohn