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John’s Journal: Stranger Things Work In Holy Angels’ Favor

Stars Win Girls Soccer Title In Game Filled With Odd Moments

Posted: Friday, November 4, 2022 - 4:16 PM


Wayzata boys score late in regulation to tie Woodbury 2-2; the Trojans went on to win in overtime.

Holy Angels won the Class 2A girls soccer state championship in a “Stranger Things” type of game Friday at U.S. Bank Stadium. Among those things were: 1) The Stars goalkeeper scored on a 55-yard shot in the first half, and 2) They celebrated twice, once before they actually won and once after it was official.

Holy Angels won a shootout 6-5 to defeat Mahtomedi, the four-time defending state champ, after the score was 2-2 at the end of regulation and through 10 minutes of overtime. The craziest goal came when senior Holy Angels keeper Chloe Sandness scored on a free kick from midfield in the first half, the third time she has scored such a goal this season.

“It's a dream to score goals as a goalkeeper,” she said. “I just knew that I needed to get it on frame and I needed to trust my girls. And I just put a little power on it and I was just thinking, ‘Get there.’ And (my teammates) turned around and started screaming. I'm like, ‘What happened? Oh, I scored.’ And I almost started crying. Because that's like a dream for me to score during the state championship game. It was just amazing.”

The winning goal was scored in the shootout by sophomore Briarleigh Dahl. Before that, Holy Angels coach Dave Marshak was confused on the shootout score and began to celebrate on a previous goal; the players ran to their student section to celebrate before the officials informed them that Mahtomedi still had a shot coming. After that shot was taken, Dahl’s goal clinched the win.

“I just want to say it was entirely my fault, that early celebration,” Marshak said. “I lost count. And these guys bailed me out. It would have been the worst moment in my coaching career if we had celebrated and not won it.”

Facing a multiple-time state championship team in the title game can be a daunting order, but Marshak said his players didn’t look at it like that.

“Honestly, I think it takes the pressure off when you're playing the four-time defending state champions. They are incredible. That program, it's a machine that year in and year out they just turn out college-level talent. And so we had a conversation where we felt like we could win the game but we didn't think many other people would be thinking that.

“To be honest, if you had offered me (shootout) kicks at the start of the day, I probably would have taken it. It's just an incredible accomplishment for these players.”

The coaches in the 2A girls championship game combined for the most experience in any of the title games. Holy Angels’ Marshak is in his 16th year as head coach with a career record of 224-69-22; Mahtomedi’s Dave Wald has a record of 272-53-20 in 17 years. They combine for 33 years and a record of 496-122-42.

Zero Sum Game

When Rosemount edged Edina 1-0 in the Class 3A girls soccer state championship game, the goose egg on the opponent’s side of the score was nothing new. With senior goalkeeper Jordan Hecht backing up an extremely strong defense, the Irish shut out 18 opponents this season en route to a 21-1 record. Their loss was a 2-0 decision to Stillwater, which was the only team to score twice against the Irish.

Friday’s win completed a strong run to the top for Rosemount, which finished third at state in 2019 and fourth in 2021, with a loss to Eagan in the 2020 section title game.

Hecht, who gave up only five goals in 22 games and made zero saves Friday, said, “In a lot of games, what I do is I watch and it gets a little bit boring. I think when it comes to games like these, I'd rather watch than have to do something. I think it showed today we were super solid as a backline. It was great.

“We’ve played some games where I touched the ball two or three times and those are quite boring, but I'd rather win these kinds of games than have to make some crazy saves.”

Better Late Than Never

Wayzata used two late goals to defeat Woodbury 3-2 in overtime in the Class 3A boys soccer title game.

Woodbury led 2-1 at halftime behind two goals by Olin Franzwa. The second half was scoreless until Wayzata senior Joe Burica scored on a rebound goal with less than two minutes left in regulation.

“I was absolutely exhausted,” Burica said. “But you always find a little bit more energy when you score. …  a moment like that, you can't describe it, it's just surreal.”

The winning goal came midway through the first overtime period. Senior forward Joe Highfield was credited with the goal after his shot caromed off two Woodbury players and into the net.

--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 [email protected] 

State Soccer Tournament at U.S. Bank Stadium

Friday’s State Championship Games

3A girls: Rosemount 1, Edina 0

3A boys: Wayzata 3, Woodbury 2 (OT)

2A girls: Holy Angels 2, Mahtomedi 1 (shootout)

2A boys: DeLaSalle 1, Hill-Murray 0 (shootout)

1A girls: St. Anthony Village 3, St. Paul Academy and Summit School 2

1A boys: St. Paul Academy and Summit School 2, St. Anthony Village 0

Next Article

Soccer State Tournament, 2022: Girls Class AA Championship