East Ridge goalkeeper Nick Wagner made the winning save during the shootout. Photo: ELIZABETH FLORES • email@example.com
The co-stars of East Ridge’s 1-0 state tournament semifinal victory — senior midfielder Miles Sitcawich and junior goalkeeper Nick Wagner — made the plays that mattered thanks to their teammates’ trust.
The third-seeded Raptors (17-2-1) and St. Paul Central (19-2) played 100 minutes of soccer without a goal before moving to a penalty-kick shootout.
“All these guys came up to me and said, ‘Nick, you’ve got this,’ ’’ Wagner said. “I knew if these guys could score, I had to do something for them.”
Wagner would have the final word, made possible by Sitcawich.
Each team’s first five shooters ended up in a 4-4 stalemate – Central’s miss the result of a Wagner save.
From there, each round could decide the outcome.
Sitcawich offered his services to any teammate who wasn’t feeling it. Senior midfielder Cullen Featherstone asked, “Miles, you want to take it?”
No. 3 seed East Ridge advanced to the Class 2A championship with a 5-4 shootout victory over St. Paul Central on Tuesday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Raptors goalkeeper Nick Wagner made two saves in the penalty-kick phase to key the victory.
The game was scoreless through regulation and overtime.
St. Paul Central (19-2), which was not seeded in the tournament, came into the game with an 18-game winning streak. It finished as the runner-up in 2003.
East Ridge (17-2-1), the 2015 runner-up, will play tournament top seed Edina for the championship on Thursday.
Check back later for more on the game.