MVHS girls soccer a win from state

Not much has changed from the regular season to the post-season for the Mounds View High School girls soccer team. The Mustangs went undefeated and gave up just five goals in the regular season and that trend has continued in the Section 5AA playoffs.

Mounds View enters this week 17-0 and one victory away from advancing to the state tournament. The Mustangs play that game at home on Tuesday at 7 p.m. against Maple Grove.

Mounds View, which was ranked No. 1 in the final coaches association rankings of the season, reached the section final by blanking a pair of opponents in the first two rounds of the section tournament last week. The top-seeded Mustangs opened the post-season with 3-0 victory over eighth-seeded Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village on Oct. 8. Goalkeeper Erika Johnson made four saves to register the shutout while Mounds View’s goal-scorers were Rachel Boyer, Mariah Northrup and Emily Nash.

Boyer also added an assist.

Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village finishes the season with a record of 3-8-4.

In the semifinals two days later, Mounds View topped fourth-seeded Irondale 3-0. Molly Hancuh and Emily Michaelson each notched a goal and an assist and Northrup added a goal. Johnson made five saves in 65 minutes of work before making way for Carlye Wright, who made two saves in 15 minutes.

Third-seeded Maple Grove enters Tuesday’s game with a record of 10-2-6 and riding a seven-game unbeaten streak (4-0-3). The Crimson reached the section final by beating sixth-seeded Champlin Park 2-1 in a shootout in the quarterfinals and upsetting second-seeded Centennial 2-1 in the semifinals.

The Crimson’s victory over Centennial avenged a 5-0 loss to the Cougars during the regular season and they’ll be looking for similar payback against Mounds View. The Mustangs beat Maple Grove 4-0 on Sept. 21 behind goals by Boyer, Northrup, Michaelson and Jordan Nustad. Boyer added two assists while Mariah Northrup and Elise Northrup had one each.

Tuesday’s winner advances to the Class AA state tournament, which begins with the quarterfinals on Oct. 23-25.

Irondale reached the semifinals via its 1-0 victory over fifth-seeded Roseville in the quarterfinals. The Knights got the only goal they’d need in the second half when senior Samantha Donovan deposited the ball into a wide open net. The play started when the Roseville goalkeeper and a defender misplayed the ball near the top of the penalty area. Donovan pounced on the loose ball and had nothing but green artificial turf between her and the goal.

When the Knights faced Mounds View in the semifinals, they brought with them a boisterous fan following but were unable to solve the Mustangs. Leading scorer Rachael Norton (22 goals, five assists) had been battling a hamstring injury and hadn’t scored since Sept. 24. She made an appearance in the second half but was clearly still feeling the effects of the injury.

Irondale finishes season with a record of 9-7-2.

Boys

All three Bulletin-area teams saw their seasons come to an end in the first round of the Section 5AA playoffs. Irondale’s quarterfinal loss was the most surprising as the Knights were the No. 2 seed. Seventh-seeded Champlin Park pulled off the 2-1 upset in a shootout.

The Knights scored first just 7:35 into the game as senior captain Gabe Montague bombed a shot past Champlin goalkeeper Alec Leabo from 25 yards.

Irondale made Montague’s goal stand up late into the second half but Champlin Park took advantage of a questionable foul call to tie it. With two and a half minutes remaining, the Rebels’ Cyrus McClain scored on a free kick from a sharp angle 25 yards away.

Neither team was able to score through the final two minutes of regulation or 20 minutes of overtime. That meant the contest would be settled in a shootout.

In the shootout, Irondale and Champlin Park matched each other goal for goal through the first three rounds. Round four was the turning point as Leabo dove to his left and knocked away Montague’s try and Abdulaziz Haji converted his chance to put the Rebels in front.

Irondale needed a goal in the fifth round to stay alive but Tyler Schweizer sent his shot over the crossbar.

Irondale finished the season 8-7-1.

The victory sent Champlin to sixth-seeded Prairie Seeds Academy, which also pulled an upset in the quarterfinals by beating third-seeded Osseo 1-0. Prairie Seeds advanced to the section final by taking out Champlin Park 5-2.

Prairie Seeds plays at top-seeded Maple Grove on Tuesday at 7 p.m. with a trip to the state tournament on the line.

Mounds View was also bitten by the upset bug in the 5AA quarterfinals. The fourth-seeded Mustangs fell 2-1 in overtime to fifth-seeded Park Center. The two teams traded second-half goals before the Pirates won it in the second overtime session.

The Mustangs finished the season 6-6-4.

The victory sent Park Center into a semifinal against top-seeded Maple Grove. The Crimson ended the Pirates’ season with a 2-0 victory.

The Crimson opened the section playoffs with a 3-0 victory over eighth-seeded Spring Lake Park/St. Anthony Village. The Panthers finished the season 5-8-4.

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com.
 

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