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2020 Girls Soccer Section Final Recaps

Posted: Friday, October 30, 2020 - 11:15 AM

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Minnesota State High School League

2020 Girls Soccer Section Championship Recap

In the fall of 2020, the Minnesota State High School League’s Girls Soccer season was abbreviated because of safety protocols implemented to minimize the spread of the COVID-19 virus. The season culminated at the section level where 16 team champions were crowned. Here is a look at what happened in each of those section championship games:

Class A

Section 1 --- Winona Cotter captured the first girls soccer section championship in school history with a 3-0 victory over Dover-Eyota at St. Charles. Junior forward Olivia Gardner scored a goal to power the Ramblers in completing an undefeated season at 14-0-0. Gardner had 27 goals for the season and has 100 in her prep career. Junior midfielder Sera Speltz and freshmen defender Abbey Gardner also tallied goals for Cotter.

Section 2 --- Waconia won a section crown for the third time in five seasons with a 3-1 victory over Southwest Christian in the championship game at the Braemar Dome in Edina. Senior forward Melissa Honnold scored two goals less than two minutes apart midway through the second half to send the Wildcats to a 3-0 lead. Junior midfielder Jordan Grell opened the scoring for Waconia late in the first half.

Section 3 --- Holy Angels, which placed fourth in Class A during the 2019 state tournament, recorded a 3-0 shutout over visiting Visitation in the championship game. Senior midfielder Sydney Burns scored two goals and assisted on the final goal from freshman forward Audrey Barton.

Section 4 --- Hill-Murray dethroned seemingly perennial Class A champion, Mahtomedi, with a 1-0 victory in the championship game at the St. Croix Rec Center. Senior forward Sarah Luger scored the game’s only goal on an 18-yard shot in the 60th minute. The Pioneers split two games with the Zephyrs, a nine-time Class A champion, during the Metro East Conference season. It is Hill-Murray’s first section crown since 2016.

Section 5 --- Benilde-St. Margaret’s won a section championship for the 13th time in program history with a 3-1 victory over visiting Blake in the final. Junior defender Tilly Wolf and senior forward Ava Wagener sent the Red Knights to a 2-1 lead after the first half before senior midfielder Annie Golinvaux added an insurance goal in the second half.

Section 6 --- Sophomore midfielders Nora Chouanard and Tess Bazil scored goals seven minutes apart in the second half to send Orono to a 2-0 victory over host Watertown-Mayer in the section championship game. Orono, the Class A runner-up in 2019, won a section championship for the 12th time in program history.

Section 7 --- Junior forward Katie Turner scored in the 31st minute on a blast from 20 yards into the lower right corner to propel Cloquet-Carlton to a 1-0 victory over Marshall School, Duluth, at Duluth Denfeld. It is the second consecutive Section 7A crown for Cloquet-Carlton.

Section 8 --- Sartell-Saint Stephen outlasted Bemidji for a 2-1 victory in a shootout in the championship game at Alexandria. After 100 minutes of regulation and two overtimes remained tied at 1-all, Sartell-Saint Stephen won the shootout game-deciding procedure, 4-3. Senior forward Peyton Oelrich opened the scoring for Bemidji in the first half when she converted on a penalty kick opportunity. Bemidji senior forward Sophia Speckhard then forged a 1-all tie on a goal in the 56th minute. It is the sixth section championship for Sartell-Saint Stephen since 2006 and first since 2015.

Class AA

Section 1 --- Lakeville South, which began the season with five consecutive losses, won its final three games of the season, culminating with a 4-1 victory over Owatonna in the section championship game at Owatonna Soccer Park. Grace Ebbighausen scored two goals and Abby Whittington had two assists in leading Lakeville South to the section title for the second consecutive season.

Section 2 --- Minnetonka lost to Edina twice during the Lake Conference season but turned those results around with a 2-0 victory in the section final at the Braemar Dome in Edina. Senior forward Marli Bertagnoli scored in the first half and senior defender Lissa Mizzutani added another in the second half to send the Skippers to a section title for the third consecutive season.

Section 3 --- Ariel Lindgren scored with just more than seven minutes remaining in regulation time to lift Eagan to a 1-0 victory over Rosemount in the championship game at the Dundas Dome. Goalkeeper London Anderson made eight saves to preserve a shutout.

Section 4 --- Senior forward Sophia Steblay scored a goal in the first half and senior forward Lex Huber added another in the second to power Stillwater to a 2-0 victory over East Ridge in the section final. It is the third consecutive section title for the Ponies and 11th overall.

Section 5 --- Sophomore midfielder Paige Kalal scored two first-half goals to send Champlin Park to a 2-1 victory over visiting Mounds View in the championship game. It is the second consecutive section title for Champlin Park, which finished fourth in the Class AA field in 2019.

Section 6 --- Junior midfielder Dana Bruer and senior forward Abby Brantner scored two goals each while junior midfielder Maddie Drasher had a goal and an assist to power Wayzata to a 6-0 victory over Minneapolis Southwest in the section final. It is a state-best 27th section crown for Wayzata since 1982.

Section 7 --- Centennial was a repeat section champion with a 2-0 victory over Blaine in the title game. Senior forward Khyah Harper scored her 26th goal of the season in the second half on a penalty kick to propel the Cougars, the Class AA runner-up in 2019. Junior forward Sarah Straiting added an insurance goal later.

Section 8 --- Maple Grove, which won the Class AA championship as the No. 5 seed in 2019, captured the section championship a year later with a 4-1 victory over host Rogers in the section final. Junior midfielder Sarah Nistler, junior forward Lauren Zimmerman and senior midfielder Kelley Kloncz scored first-half goals to send the Crimson to a three-goal advantage at the break. Senior midfielder Emma Fournier added a goal and an assist for Maple Grove, a section champion for the fourth consecutive season.    

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