An impressive streak came to a halt Monday night.
Apple Valley’s run of 48 games without a loss or a tie in boys’ soccer was snapped by Class 1A Holy Family (2-1), which defeated the Eagles 2-1 in overtime on Apple Valley’s home field.
When the final whistle blew – overtimes are not sudden death – Holy Family’s players didn’t know how to react.
“There wasn’t a huge pile-on or anything like that,” assistant coach Andy Witchger said. “But once we started getting on the bus, you could see a few smiles and it set in what they had done.”
The two-time defending Class 2A state champion Eagles (1-1) had not lost since the state quarterfinals in 2008. It had been 1,040 days since that 1-0 loss to St. Louis Park.
Apple Valley finished 7-8-3 in 2005. Since, the Eagles – who lost every starter from last year’s team - have a 105-6-6 record.
On Monday, Patrick Smith gave the Fire a 1-0 lead about 12 minutes in with a goal from 25 yards away. Apple Valley then answered midway through the second half with a free kick goal, setting up overtime.
There, Smith drew a foul inside the Eagles goal box and was awarded a penalty kick, which was converted by Peter Schumer.
“We played Eagan a few years ago and got beat like 9-0,” Witchger said. “So to do this is a big step forward.”
For as remarkable as the Eagles’ streak was, it’s a ways off from national recognition.
The boys’ soccer team in Gilford, NH., went 133 games without a loss or a tie from 1990-97.
Holy Family has the chance to pull off a double-spoiler this fall. it plays defending Class 1A champion Prairie Seeds Academy on Sept. 20, again on the road.
“We don’t expect to walk over anybody,” Witchger said. “And [Monday] Apple Valley really did dominate us for large stretches. But our guys know they can play with anybody.”