Soccer State Tournament, 2022: Semifinals Day 1 Recap
Posted: Tuesday, November 1, 2022 - 9:50 PM
Top-seeded Wayzata cruised into a championship game berth following a 4-1 victory over No. 5 Andover on Tuesday, Nov. 1 at U.S. Bank Stadium. Junior midfielder Charlie Piller had two goals and senior forward Mike Orlov and senior defender Joe Burica supplied the others. There were three penalty kicks scored in the game. Wayzata advances to the Class AAA championship game on Friday against the winner of Tuesday's second semifinal between Maple Grove and Woodbury.
No. 3 Woodbury completed the championship pairing with a 4-2 victory over No. 2 Maple Grove in the second semifinal. Senior forward Xander Anderson scored three goals, including two early in the second half and senior midfielder Evin Moutin added a goal and two assists in second the Royals (15-1-3) into a state championship game for the first time since 2009 when it lost to Wayzata, 2-1.
Top-seeded Hill-Murray was staring at its first loss of the season late in the second half of its Class AA semifinal matchup with Richfield, a team making its first appearance since winning the single-class championship in 1975. The Pioneers rallied with two goals in the final minutes and then topped the Spartans in the shootout tie-breaking procedure to earn a 4-3 victory and a berth in the championship game.
The Pioneers (21-0-0) won the shootout by a 4-2 margin when junior forward Ronan O’Connor powered a shot to the left side.
The shootout procedure was needed when 20 minutes of two overtimes couldn’t produce a winner. Hill-Murray forced overtime when junior midfielder Taylor Petrich scored with 29 seconds remaining in regulation time. Earlier, senior defender Ernest Hanna had pulled the Pioneers to within one on a header goal in the 67th minute. Hill-Murray had an opportunity to find the equalizer in the 76th minute on a penalty kick opportunity, but a shot by junior midfielder Jacob Dinzeo was stopped by an impressive save by Richfield senior goalkeeper Cole Madison.
Junior forward Antwane Ruiz and senior forward Luis Sanchez had goals in helping the Spartans (11-5-4) build a 3-1 lead at the break.
DeLaSalle, the No. 2 seed, will try to unseat the Pioneers on Friday. The Islanders earned a spot in a soccer championship game for the first time in program history following a convincing 4-0 victory over No. 3 Cloquet-Esko-Carlton in the second Class AA semifinal.
Sophomore Marello Villegas Rosales opened the scoring for the Islanders (14-5-1) in the 24th minute, and just more than two minutes later, senior defender Keo Sena doubled DeLaSalle’s lead on a successful penalty kick opportunity. DeLaSalle pushed its lead with two additional goals in the second half. Senior defender Riley Blaylark scored in the 68th minute, and senior forward Chris Parson set the score on a goal in the final seconds of regulation.
Cloquet-Esko-Carlton (18-3-0) plays Richfield in the third-place game on Wednesday at the West St. Paul Regional Athletics Center.
St. Paul Academy bulled its way into the Class A championship game with a 6-0 victory over Maranatha Christian Academy. Senior midfielder Yash Kshirsagar powered the No. 4-seeded Spartans (13-3-3) with two goals as St. Paul Academy controlled from the start. The Spartans have not allowed a goal during the postseason, a five-game stretch where they have outscored the opposition by 22-0.
St. Paul Academy will be in a soccer championship game for the first time since 2012 when the Spartans lost 2-1 in a shootout to Rochester Lourdes. From 1986 through 1996, St. Paul Academy was in the championship game eight times and captured titles in 1986, 1987, 1991 and 1994. Runner-up finishes came in 1989, 1990, 1995 and 1996.
St. Anthony Village is making its first state tournament trip a memorable one with two victories and a spot in the championship game to show for it. The unseeded Huskies continued its upstart ways with a 3-0 victory over Legacy Christian Academy in the final semifinal of a 14-hour day of soccer.
Sophomore forward Max Plaza scored in the 36th minute off a corner kick to give the Huskies (12-6-2) a one-goal lead at the break. St. Anthony then built on that with two more goals in the second half, eight minutes apart. Senior forward Jonathan Chasi-Mejia broke free from the defense and angled a shot to the left side with 27:56 left in regulation. It grew to a three-goal advantage with 19:07 remaining when junior defender Christopher Plaza-Alvarado fired a shot from 20 yards.
The Huskies finished the regular season with two losses and a 7-6-2 record. St. Anthony has since won five in a row and outscored the opposition 26-2.