Oscar Smythe (10) of Edina celebrated after scoring what proved to be the winning goal against East Ridge in the second half. Photo: CARLOS GONZALEZ • firstname.lastname@example.org
Longtime Edina boys’ soccer co-head coach Bill Garner had the number “22” tattooed along his shin last summer, never fully knowing what it might mean.
He had done the math and knew regular season, section playoffs and state tournament games added up to 22 should a team reach the state championship game.
He just didn’t know his lower leg would mirror Edina’s 22-0 season after it defeated East Ridge 2-1 in the Class 2A title game Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
“We always knew if we get to 22 and play the big game, it was going to be there for us,” said fellow co-head coach Dave Jenson, referring to a state championship. “I just didn’t think we’d ever be undefeated. You never do.”
Garner thought enough on a summer’s day to get the overall number etched in his skin, but who could have foreseen a season in which the Hornets trailed by only a minute once in those 22 games?
Their victory Thursday — powered by senior star forward Oscar Smythe’s two goals, including the winner in the 63rd minute — was Edina’s 184th state title in all sports and its first in boys’ soccer since the Hornets won the third of three consecutive championships in 2001.
They had only trailed once since August in that mere minute. They had shut out six consecutive opponents through Tuesday's semifinal.
Edina senior forward Oscar Smythe scored twice and his team finished an undefeated season 22-0 after a 2-1 victory over East Ridge to win the Class 2A championship Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium.
Smythe gave the Hornets an early 1-0 lead with a goal in the 18th minute when he turned a long free kick from the left side into an opportunistic goal during a scramble in front of the goal.
After East Ridge sophomore forward Adrian Lagravere tied the game in the 53rd minute, Smythe came back with the winner in the 63rd minute.
This time, he scored after a long throw-in pass from the right sideline ended up on his left foot and he scored low and left from near the edge of the 18-yard penalty box.
The title was Edina’s first boys' soccer championship since 2001.
Check back later for more on the game.