John's Journal
Class 2A Boys Soccer: Stillwater Finishes Unbeaten11/3/2016
Defense wins championships, and it also wins games. Evidence is provided by the Stillwater boys soccer team, which beat Wayzata 2-0 in Thursday’s Class 2A state championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Ponies not only completed an undefeated season at 22-0, they also displayed one of the best defenses you will ever see. Their opponents only scored 11 goals in those 22 games, which if you do the math comes out to half a goal per game.

“They’ve been tremendous," Stillwater coach Jake Smothers said of his defensive specialists. “We have a great back four, with six or seven players who can play back there.”

The Ponies won their first title in Class 2A; they won single-class crowns in 1995 and 1996.

Colman Farrington scored early in the second half and Kohei Adams made it 2-0 late in the game. The second goal was crucial.

“When it was 1-0 we knew any mistake of ours would mean a tie game,” Farrington said. “Kohei putting that one away was a tremendous feeling, knowing that we got this. It was amazing. We knew we had a little bit of a cushion. I think it took some of the pressure off us.”

Wayzata had pitched four shutouts in five previous postseason games.

“I just love the run we made this year,” Trojans coach Dominic Duenas said. “I couldn’t be prouder of these guys. Our senior leadership was top-notch. I told the boys that sitting here in our 22nd game of the season and our first loss; there’s nothing to hang our heads about. I’m extremely proud of the players.”
Class 2A Girls State Soccer: Centennial Reigns 11/3/2016
Centennial capped the soccer season and the first run of MSHSL state tournaments at U.S. Bank Stadium in style Thursday, recording the first state championship in the program’s history. And the Cougars did it from a rare place, as the fifth-seeded team in the eight-team field.

They held off second-seeded Rosemount 2-1 to win the Class 2A state championship. Centennial (18-0-3), which lost in the state quarterfinals last year, was making its sixth appearance in the state tournament and first time in the championship game.

Rosemount (17-2-2) had been to state five times previously (most recently in 1997) and also was playing in the title game for the first time.

Both teams reached Thursday’s game by narrow margins. Centennial had defeated Lakeville North 2-1 in a shootout in the quarterfinals and beat Andover 2-1 in Tuesday’s semifinals. Rosemount outlasted Minnetonka 2-1 in overtime in the state quarterfinals and beat Minneapolis Washburn 2-1 in the semifinals.

“To get to the moment is something that only two teams in the state do,” said Irish coach Gretchen Stramel, who played on Rosemount’s last state tournament team. “The girls played hard and they came up a little bit short. They fought to the end. What they did in order to get here was nothing short of spectacular. They have to hold their heads up high and be so proud of everything that they accomplished.”

Tessa Trettel scored both goals for the Cougars, one in each half. Her goal eight minutes into the second half made it 2-0. The Irish kept battling, with Lauren Bangh making it 2-1 on a goal with 6:40 remaining in regulation.

“It’s unbelievable,” Trettel said of the tournament experience. “It’s amazing that the hard work we put in during practice pays off on the field.”

Centennial coach Ginger Flohaug said her team’s position as the fifth seed “probably” provided evidence that the Cougars were overlooked when the eight tournament head coaches went through the electronic seeding process.

“I feel like in the coaches rankings, they either don’t know our opponents from the north (suburbs) or don’t respect them,” she said. “Having Andover (which finished third) and us in the final four should help that in the future.”

One of Flohaug’s pregame goals was to make sure everyone on the roster saw playing time. And that indeed happened.

“I’m so proud of every player,” she said. “It’s great to get everybody in and touch the field and know what it’s like to play in a championship game.”

STATE SOCCER TOURNAMENT

MONDAY SEMIFINALS

2A boys/ Stillwater 6, Andover 1
2A boys/ Wayzata 2, Edina 0
1A boys/ Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
1A boys/ St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2
1A girls/ Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0

TUESDAY SEMIFINALS
2A girls/ Centennial 2, Andover 1
2A girls/ Rosemount 2, Minneapolis Washburn 1

TUESDAY THIRD-PLACE GAMES
1A boys/ Mankato West 2, Blake 0
1A girls/ Hill-Murray 3, Dover-Eyota 0
2A boys/ Edina 3, Andover 0

THURSDAY
THIRD-PLACE GAME

2A girls/ Andover 2, Minneapolis Washburn 1
CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
1A boys/ St. Thomas Academy 1, Northfield 0 (2 OT)
1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s 2, Mankato West 1
2A boys/ Stillwater 2, Wayzata 0
2A girls/ Centennial 2, Rosemount 1

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 168
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,585
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
2016 Prep Bowl To Honor Former Players, Coaches11/1/2016
A news conference was held Tuesday on the main concourse overlooking the field at U.S. Bank Stadium. Soccer was being played at the time but the news centered on football.

The MSHSL, in conjunction with the Minnesota Sports Facilitates Authority and the Minnesota Vikings, announced that all players and coaches who took part in the state football playoffs between 1972 and 2015 will be honored during this year’s Prep Bowl games Nov. 25-26.

The first 1,400 alumni players and coaches to register will receive a special commemorative Prep Bowl tag. During the Class 6A championship game on Nov. 25, Prep Bowl record-holders will be recognized at halftime. Former players and coaches, along with their guests, will be seated together in Section 120 on the lower level of the stadium.

On November 26, all head coaches of championship football teams from 1972 to 2015 will be honored during halftime of the Class 5A championship game.

Tickets and more information is available by going to www.mshsl.org/prepbowl

Speaking at the news conference were Michele Kelm-Helgen, chair of the Minnesota Sports Facilities Authority, MSHSL executive director Dave Stead, Vikings chief operating officer Kevin Warren and Vikings wide receiver Isaac Fruechte, who played in the Prep Bowl at Caledonia High School.

STATE SOCCER TOURNAMENT

The key games Tuesday at U.S. Bank Stadium were the Class 2A girls semifinals, and the results of those contests finalized the lineups for Thursday’s state championship games.

The title games will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday with Northfield facing St. Thomas Academy in the Class 1A boys final, followed by Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Mankato West (1A girls), Stillwater vs. Wayzata (2A boys) and Centennial vs. Rosemount (2A girls).

CLASS 2A GIRLS SEMIFINALS

Centennial 2, Andover 1


The Cougars trailed 1-0 when Megan Vatne scored for Andover. Centennial made up the difference after halftime, getting goals from McKenna Gieske and Ashley Ebeling to advance to Thursday’s title game.

Rosemount 2, Minneapolis Washburn 1

Megan Dahl scored for Rosemount in the ninth minute and Washburn’s Lizzie Mewes answered early in the second half. The deciding goal was scored by the Irish’s Jadyn Scholler with 8:58 to play.

STATE SOCCER SCHEDULE

MONDAY SEMIFINALS

2A boys/ Stillwater 6, Andover 1
2A boys/ Wayzata 2, Edina 0
1A boys/ Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
1A boys/ St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2
1A girls/ Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0

TUESDAY SEMIFINALS
2A girls/ Centennial 2, Andover 1
2A girls/ Rosemount 2, Minneapolis Washburn 1

TUESDAY THIRD-PLACE GAMES
1A boys/ Mankato West 2, Blake 0
1A girls/ Hill-Murray 3, Dover-Eyota 0
2A boys/ Edina 3, Andover 0

THURSDAY
THIRD-PLACE GAME

8 a.m.: 2A girls/ Andover vs. Minneapolis Washburn

CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
10 a.m.: 1A boys/ Northfield vs. St. Thomas Academy
12:30 p.m.: 1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Mankato West
3 p.m.: 2A boys/ Stillwater vs. Wayzata
5:30 p.m.: 2A girls/ Centennial vs. Rosemount

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 168
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,537
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn
An "Amazing Experience" At U.S. Bank Stadium10/31/2016
How outstanding was the first day of high school sports at U.S. Bank Stadium? Well, here is a statement from a soccer player whose team got beat Monday morning…

“This was probably the most amazing experience of my life so far. Just walking in through the tunnel to start it off was so amazing.”

Amazing indeed. Andover’s Alexander Gutenberg said those words after the Huskies lost to Stillwater 6-1 in the first game of the day, a Class 2A boys semifinal.

Kohei Adams, who scored three goals for the top-seeded Ponies, said, “I thought it was great. The atmosphere, I liked it a lot.”

After Wayzata defeated Edina in the other 2A boys semifinal, there were more raves about the stadium.

“I thought it was crazy,” said the Trojans’ Eric Aadelan, who had never been in the arena before Monday. “When I walked out on the field I just took a couple of minutes, looking around and taking it all in.”

Wayzata goalkeeper Collin Kubinski added, “It’s an amazing venue. You couldn’t ask for anything better.”

After the Class 1A boys semifinal when Northfield defeated Mankato West 3-0, West senior Jake Makela, the 1A Mr. Soccer this season, said, “It’s amazing, coming up here. You walk through that tunnel and you see the field and your jaw drops.”

CLASS 2A BOYS

Stillwater 6, Andover 1

Andover’s Hector Coronado made history by scoring the first high school goal inside the new stadium eight minutes into the game, but it was all Stillwater after. The top-seeded Ponies (21-0) needed only 16 seconds to answer after Coronado’s goal, with Patrick Allan scoring. Kohei Adams scored three times for Stillwater and Colman Farrington and Miguel Caravais had the other goals.

Wayzata 2, Edina 0
The Trojans defeated the Hornets for the third time this season, and the score in all three games was 2-0. Erik Aadalen scored in the 55th minute and Maclane King made it 2-0 six minutes later.

CLASS 1A BOYS

Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
Northfield held the top-seeded Scarlets to only one shot on goal, while Matteo Lombardo scored twice for the Raiders. Thomas Gallagher had the other goal for fourth-seeded Northfield.

St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
William Mayleben’s goal on a header in the first half, coupled with a stout defense, led the Cadets into Thursday’s title game against Northfield. Game time is scheduled for 10 a.m. at U.S. Bank Stadium.

CLASS 1A GIRLS

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

Vivian Shinall scored twice and Claire Van Derh Heide scored the game-winner with 2:31 remaining in the second half.

Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0
McKenna Buisman’s first-half was all the Scarlets needed in advancing to Thursday’s title game against Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Shelby Lund added an insurance goal in the second half, followed by another goal on a penalty kick.

STATE SOCCER SCHEDULE
MONDAY SEMIFINALS

2A boys/ Stillwater 6, Andover 1
2A boys/ Wayzata 2, Edina 0
1A boys/ Northfield 3, Mankato West 0
1A boys/ St. Thomas Academy 1, Blake 0
1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s 3, Hill-Murray 2
1A girls/ Mankato West 3, Dover-Eyota 0

TUESDAY SEMIFINALS
Noon: 2A girls/ Andover vs. Centennial
2 p.m.: 2A girls/ Rosemount vs. Minneapolis Washburn

TUESDAY THIRD-PLACE GAMES
8 a.m.: 1A boys/ Mankato West vs. Blake
10 a.m.: 1A girls/ Hill-Murray vs. Dover-Eyota
4 p.m.: 2A boys/ Andover vs. Edina

THURSDAY
THIRD-PLACE GAME
8 a.m.: 2A girls

CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
10 a.m.: 1A boys/ Northfield vs. St. Thomas Academy
12:30 p.m.: 1A girls/ Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. Mankato West
3 p.m.: 2A boys/ Stillwater vs. Wayzata
5:30 p.m.: 2A girls

BY THE NUMBERS
*Schools/teams John has seen/visited: 164
*Miles John has driven in the Toyota Camry in 2016-17: 4,492
*Follow John on Twitter: @MSHSLjohn

State Soccer Game Schedule10/30/2016
Monday will mark history with the first day of high school sporting events inside U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. The MSHSL girls and boys state soccer tournament semifinal, third-place and championship games will begin Monday and culminate Thursday. (Halloween note: masks cannot be worn at the tournament.)

Tickets cost $12 for adults and $8 for students, and one ticket is good for an entire day's schedule of games. Tickets are sold at the stadium, but you can beat the lines by ordering online at www.mshsl.org/tickets

Here is the schedule for all three days...

MONDAY SEMIFINALS
8 a.m.: 2A boys/ #1 seed Stillwater vs. #4 seed Andover
10 a.m.: 2A boys/ #2 seed Wayzata vs. #3 seed Edina
Noon: 1A boys/ #1 seed Mankato West vs. #5 seed Northfield
2 p.m.: 1A boys/ #2 seed Blake vs. #3 seed St. Thomas Academy
4 p.m.: 1A girls/ #1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s vs. #4 seed Hill-Murray
6 p.m.: 1A girls/ Dover-Eyota vs. #3 seed Mankato West

TUESDAY SEMIFINALS
Noon: 2A girls/ Andover vs. #5 seed Centennial
2 p.m.: 2A girls/ #2 seed Rosemount vs. #3 seed Minneapolis Washburn

TUESDAY THIRD-PLACE GAMES8 a.m.: 1A boys
10 a.m.: 1A girls
4 p.m.: 2A boys

THURSDAY
THIRD-PLACE GAME

8 a.m.: 2A girls
CHAMPIONSHIP GAMES
10 a.m.: 1A boys
12:30 p.m.: 1A girls
3 p.m.: 2A boys
5:30 p.m.: 2A girls