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Benilde-St. Margaret's senior Grace Coughlin moves the ball past Mankato West's Aisha Abdo during the second half of the teams' semifinal game Monday at the Metrodome. Photo: Bre McGee, Special to the Star Tribune

Recap: Defending champion Benilde-St. Margaret’s scored twice in the first half en route to a victory against Mankato West and a berth in the final.
Aleksa Tataryn and Emma Van der Heide each found the back of the net for the Red Knights in the first half. Tataryn’s goal came in the fifth minute.

“Anytime you get the first goal early, it’s huge and it gives you more confidence,” Red Knights senior Kelly Pannek said.

Pannek, named Ms. Soccer by the state coaches association last week, maintained the pressure by scoring the first of three Red Knights goals in the second half. Katie Oppenheimer and Jordan Maddaus also scored.

Five goals was more than enough as the Benilde-St. Margaret’s defense clamped down. The Red Knights have given up only two goals in the past eight games and recorded six shutouts.

Quote: “We had so many chances and that’s what we wanted to do — put the pressure on them.” — Pannek

One thing to know: Mankato West’s first shot on goal was a goal in the 52nd minute by Maddy Burandt.

DAVID La VAQUE

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