When DeLaSalle senior Eli Baker steps to the line, the result is almost a given. Baker is 8-for-8 on the year on penalty kicks.

But none was bigger than his penalty kick goal with 14.9 seconds left in the first overtime that sent the top-seeded Islanders to the Class 1A state semifinals with a 1-0 victory over unseeded Mahtomedi.

“I do the same thing every time,” said Baker, an all-state midfielder and team captain. “I know what I’m doing.” 

With the seconds ticking away in the first overtime, DeLaSalle senior Matthew Wojda drew a foul in the box. Adam Pribyl, in his third year as Islanders’ coach, didn’t hesitate with his decision to select Baker for the penalty kick.

“I didn’t doubt him at all,” Pribyl said. “Eli is just phenominal. This is what he does.” 

Most of the game was played between the 30-yard lines. However, toward the end of the second half, DeLaSalle (18-1-1) started to apply pressure. Mahtomedi (12-4-4) hunkered down and held off the surging Islanders to force overtime.

“Mahtomedi came out with a game plan and they executed,” Pribyl said. “I told our guys the defense would bend and eventually it would break. They stuck with the game plan, were disciplined and eventually we got one.”

Freshman Will Hagg had eight saves in the shutout for DeLaSalle. Hagg has stepped in for the Islanders’ all-state goalie Nicholai Anderson Pena, who broke his leg three weeks ago and is out for the season.

DeLaSalle is playing in its first state tournament. 

“It’s been an incredible season,” said Baker, in his fourth year of varsity for the Islanders. “Hopefully we’ll have another first coming up in the championship next week.”

First report

After a scoreless regulation, DeLaSalle senior Eli Baker’s penalty kick with 14.9 seconds left in the first overtime sent the top-seeded Islanders to the Class 1A state semifinals. 

DeLaSalle plays the winner of No. 4 St. Paul Como Park vs. No. 5 Chaska on Oct. 29 at St. Cloud State University.

Check back later for more on the game.

Eli Baker

Photo gallery: Class 1A boys' soccer quarterfinals