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John's Journal: Double Duty For Woodbury Soccer-Football Player

Xander Anderson Will Kick For State Soccer Title And Football Playoff Win

Posted: Wednesday, November 2, 2022 - 1:34 PM


Irish

Rosemount girls soccer coach Gretchen Stramel and seniors Taylor Heimerl and Shay Payne meet the media after their win in the 3A state semifinals.

Friday will be a busy day for Woodbury High School senior Xander Anderson. He’s a multi-sport athlete who happens to play two sports in the same season.

At 10:15 a.m. Friday, Anderson and his Royals soccer teammates will face Wayzata in the Class 3A state championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium. And that evening at 7 o’clock, he will pick up his other sport, football, as the kicker when the Royals (7-2) meet Eden Prairie (7-2) in the Class 6A playoffs.

Anderson has made three of four field-goal attempts this season and 16 of 19 extra-point kicks. He scored three goals Tuesday as the Royals defeated Maple Grove 4-2 in the soccer state semifinals.

“It’s going to be a great two wins on Friday,” he said. “It’s going to be a splendid day.”

Hill-Murray, the top-seeded team in the Class 2A boys state soccer tournament, gave up three goals against Richfield in Tuesday's semifinals, which is one more than the Pioneers had given up all season. They defeated the Spartans 4-3, winning in a shootout in Tuesday’s semifinals.

Hill-Murray, which will take a 21-0 record into Friday’s state championship game against DeLaSalle, gave up single goals in a regular-season game against Hastings (a 7-1 win) and in a Section 4 tournament win over Columbia Heights (4-1).

Richfield’s goals Tuesday all came in the first half before Hill-Murray rallied to tie the score late in the second half and win the shootout.

“That's the most skilled team we've played and the biggest battle that we've been in,” Hill-Murray coach Jeff Zupfer said of Richfield (11-5-4). “We've given up two goals all year in 20 games. They got three on us today and they earned every single one of them, but credit to our guys for battling back.”

The Stillwater girls soccer roster includes 10 ninth-graders, five in the starting lineup. The Ponies had an outstanding season, taking a 17-2 record into the Class 3A state semifinals, where they fell to Rosemount 1-0 on Wednesday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Stillwater will meet Wayzata in Thursday’s third-place game at the West St. Paul Regional Athletic Center.

Rosemount’s only regular-season loss came against Stillwater by a 2-0 score on Sept. 6. The Irish (20-1), who will meet Edina in the state championship game on Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium, were in a similar situation as Stillwater a few years ago. The Irish are now flush with veteran players.

“That Rosemount group from four years ago is where we are today,” said Stillwater coach Mike Huber. “Four years ago they were a bunch of young freshmen, a couple of seniors and some others and that's kind of who we are today. I expect that we'll be back.”

Rosemount coach Gretchen Stramel agreed with Huber’s assessment.

“We have five girls who were part of it when they were freshmen and we ended up in third place. Yes, it’s very similar with Stillwater. They have a ton of very young talent that doesn't look like they're young at all. … Playing Stillwater, I wouldn't have been able to pick out their freshmen. They just have great players. And they will only get better.”

--MSHSL media specialist John Millea has been the leading voice of Minnesota high school activities for decades. Follow him on Twitter @MSHSLjohn and listen to "Preps Today with John Millea” wherever you get podcasts. Contact John at jmillea@mshsl.org  

State Soccer Tournament at U.S. Bank Stadium

Tuesday’s Boys Semifinals

Class 3A

Wayzata 4, Andover 1

Woodbury 4, Maple Grove 2

Class 2A

Hill-Murray 4, Richfield 3 (shootout)  

DeLaSalle 4, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton 0

Class 1A

St. Paul Academy and Summit School 6, Maranatha Christian 0

St. Anthony Village 3, Legacy Christian 0

Wednesday’s Girls Semifinals

Class 3A

Edina 1, Mounds View 0

Rosemount 1, Stillwater 0

Class 2A

Mahtomedi 2, Benilde-St. Margaret’s 0

Holy Angels 1, Mankato East 0

Class 1A

St. Anthony Village 4, Providence Academy 3

St. Paul Academy and Summit School 2, Breck 1 (shootout)

Friday’s State Championship Games

8 a.m. 3A girls: Edina vs. Rosemount

10:15 a.m. 3A boys: Wayzata vs. Woodbury

12:30 p.m. 2A girls: Mahtomedi vs. Holy Angels

2:45 p.m. 2A boys: Hill-Murray vs. DeLaSalle

5 p.m. 1A girls: St. Anthony Village vs. St. Paul Academy and Summit School

7:15 pm 1A boys: St. Paul Academy and Summit School vs. St. Anthony Village


Next Article

Soccer State Tournament, 2022: Semifinals Day 2 Recap