Pioneers capture third place at state soccer tournament

The Hill-Murray girls soccer team entered the state tournament as the No. 4 seed and finished one place higher than that seed. The Pioneers went 2-1 in their three tournament games and brought home the third-place trophy.

Hill-Murray closed out its tournament with a 3-0 victory over unseeded Dover-Eyota in the third-place game on Nov. 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium. That followed on the heels of a 3-2 defeat at the hands of top-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the semifinals a day earlier.

The Pioneers opened the state tournament on Oct. 27 with a 1-0 win over fifth-seeded Waconia at St. Cloud State University’s Husky Stadium.

Freshman Katherine Schindler led Hill-Murray with four goals in the state tournament. She scored the only goal of the quarterfinal against Waconia, added another against Benilde-St. Margaret’s and scored twice against Dover-Eyota.

Olivia Venuta, a senior, assisted on both of Schindler’s goals in the third-place game. Also scoring goals in the tournament for the Pioneers were freshman Claire Cater and sophomore Claire Fletcher. Cater got hers against Benilde-St. Margaret’s and it tied the score at 2-2. Fletcher’s goal was Hill-Murray’s second against Dover-Eyota.

Junior Ella Hulsey picked up an assist on Schindler’s goal in the Waconia match.

Senior goalkeeper Elise Potvin played all three matches. She made two saves each against Waconia and Dover-Eyota. 

In the Benilde-St. Margaret’s match, Schindler gave Hill-Murray a 1-0 lead when she headed a corner kick in for a goal in the 26th minute. The Red Knights scored the next two to take a 2-1 lead at halftime.

Hill-Murray tied up the match early in the second half on Cater’s goal. The match stayed tied until Benilde converted on a corner kick with fewer than three minutes left in the match.

The loss in the semifinals snapped Hill-Murray’s seven-game winning streak.

Against Dover-Eyota, Hill-Murray scored once late in the first half and twice early in the second. Schindler played Venuta’s free kick in for a goal in the 36th minute.

Fletcher took a pass from Cater in the first minute of the second and beat D-E keeper Abbe Lacey. Three minutes later, Schindler capped off the scoring as she beat a Dover-Eyota defender and drilled a shot into the far corner.

Hill-Murray completed its season with a record of 15-8.


Brian Meyers can be reached at or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.


Class A girls state soccer tournament


Game 1 — Benilde-St. Margaret’s 6, St. Cloud Apollo 0

Game 2 — Hill-Murray 1, Waconia 0

Game 3 — Dover-Eyota 4, St. Paul Academy 1

Game 4 — Mankato West 7, North Branch 1



Game 5 — Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2

Game 6 — Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0


Third-place game

Game 7 — Hill-Murray 3, Dover-Eyota 0

Championship game

Game 8 — Benilde-St. Margaret’s 2, Mankato West 1


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