Life isn’t all sweetness and sunshine in the sprawling, swanky west metro. Benilde-St. Margaret’s girls’ soccer team can attest.
One of the state’s most dominant small-school programs for the better part of the past two decades, the Red Knights appeared on the verge of closing out an undefeated regular season and clinching the Metro West Conference title when, wham!, they were stung with a 2-0 loss to Chanhassen on Oct. 1.
To make matters worse, Benilde-St. Margaret’s, ranked No. 1 in the Class 1A state coaches’ poll from Sept. 28, must now face Chaska, another West Metro team with upset capabilities and title possibilities.
The Red Knights (8-1-0, 7-1-0) beat the Hawks (8-2-0, 8-2-0) 3-0 on Sept. 10. That’s probably not much of a comfort for the Benilde-St. Margaret's, though, considering the Red Knights had defeated Chanhassen earlier in the season, too, only to lose last week’s rematch.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s, which has failed to reach the state tournament just four times since 2005, is led by junior Sydney Drees (8 goals). Junior goalkeeper Natalie Tennessen, who has allowed just two goals while playing the bulk of the minutes, is another standout for the Red Knights.
Chaska, which has never reached a state tourney, is led by sophomore Madeline Davey (7 goals).