Championship Saturday:Mahtomedi 3 Benilde-St. Margaret's 1 Class AA Girls Soccer Championship
Posted: Saturday, November 6, 2021 - 4:23 PM
Following his team’s victory in the Class AA semifinals, Mahtomedi girls soccer coach Dave Wald had a hunch something different was in store. He knew a matchup with top-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s was two days away, yet a memory of a seven-goal loss to the Red Knights on Sept. 18 still lingered, but just slightly. In the storied tradition of the Mahtomedi girls soccer program, a seven-goal setback had never occurred.
“I think you’ll see a little different Mahtomedi team in the final,” Wald said.
He was right.
Mahtomedi, the No.3 seed to open the tournament, bolted to a three-goal advantage in the first half and protected that en route to a 3-1 victory over Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the Class AA championship game on Saturday, Nov. 6 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Senior forward Audrey Barry scored all three goals for the Zephyrs (17-2-2).
It is a state record 10th championship for the Mahtomedi girls soccer program. Wald has been a part of all 10. He was an assistant to legendary coach Mike Redmond, the architect of Mahtomedi’s girls program, for the first four championships. The past six have been under the direction of Wald, who has been with the program for 27 years. In the past four state tournaments, Mahtomedi has emerged with championships in 2017, 2018 and 2019. A state tournament wasn’t held in 2020 because of the global pandemic.
Redmond’s teams won championships in 1997, 1999, 2004 and 2005. Wald’s championship run began in 2006 and another was added in 2008 before the past four.
Since the loss to the Red Knights (18-1-1), Mahtomedi finished the season on a 12-0-1 run.
Barry opened the scoring in the third minute, who scored from the slot after a volley pass from teammate Katelyn Buelke, a junior forward. Less than five minutes later, she pushed the advantage to two goals when Barry cashed in on a rebound. In the opening minutes of the second half, Barry completed the hat trick by displaying her speed on a dazzling scoring run.
Mahtomedi’s championship journey included a 4-1 victory over Mankato West in the quarterfinals and a 2-1 victory over No. 2 Holy Angels in the semifinals.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s, looking to add to its championship tally that includes titles in 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2016, pulled to within two goals on a tap-in goal from short range by senior midfielder Sydney Drees in the 68th minute. In qualifying for the championship game, Benilde-St. Margaret’s defeated Alexandria 5-0 in the quarterfinals and had a 3-0 win over Cloquet-Carlton in the semifinals.
- Lauren Buzzell, St. Francis, D
- Ella Westlund, Alexandria, F
- Abigail Schnell, Byron, D
- Annelise Winch, Mankato West, F
- Katie Turner, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, F
- Katelyn Olson, Cloquet-Esko-Carlton, GK
- Catherine Duffy Shaw, Holy Angels, MF
- Audrey Garton, Holy Angels, F
- Ella Clow, Holy Angels, MF
- Katelyn Beulke, Mahtomedi F
- Audrey Barry, Mahtomedi, F
- Campbell Waldspurger, Mahtomedi, F
- Paige Janssen, Mahtomedi, GK
- Elizabeth Dietzen, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, MF
- Kiya Gilland, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, MF
- Avery Richardson, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, F