Centennial’s Khyah Harper (7) tries to gain control of the ball under pressure from Maple Grove’s Avery Toms (11) Wednesday at Centennial High School. Harper had the lone goal in the Cougars' 1-0 defeat of the Crimson. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
Centennial’s Tatum Trettel (22) brings the ball up the sideline against Maple Grove Wednesday night. The Cougars defeated the Crimson 1-0 at Centennial High School. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
It not often that a single conference game — a matchup just two games into the regular season at that — can have as many motivating factors as Centennial experienced when facing Northwest Suburban Conference rival Maple Grove at Centennial’s Cougar Stadium in Circle Pines on Wednesday evening. But the extra motivation seemed to do the trick for the home team.
Behind timely goalkeeper play from senior Jenna Lang, and an early second-half goal from senior forward Khyah Harper, a University of Minnesota commit, the Cougars utilized those motivating factors to pull a 1-0 defeat of the Crimson, who are ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll.
“It’s tough when you’re coaching a 1-0 game because it doesn’t always feel as though you’re dominating,” said Centennial coach Ginger Flohaug said. “At any time, your opponent usually has the players to put a ball in the back of the net and tie things up.”
Centennial’s coach is especially motivated this fall, given this is Flohaug’s final season coaching the No. 2-2A Cougars.
“The girls know that I’m done after this year,” Flohaug said. “I talked to Ben [LeVahn, coach of Maple Grove] after the game and he let me know that they’ll miss me too because we just respect each other a lot.”
Centennial took down Maple Grove 1-0 at Cougar Stadium in Circle Pines Wednesday evening in a rematch of last year’s Class 2A state championship matchup. The Cougars booted the game’s lone goal early in the second half off the foot of senior forward Khyah Harper.
The Cougars, ranked No. 2 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, outshot the No. 1-2A Crimson 3-1 in the first half but a set play started by Centennial junior midfielder Lauren Ahles ended on the foot of Harper, a University of Minnesota commit, and she didn’t miss her scoring opportunity.
Maple Grove goalkeeper Jordyn Lamker made 10 saves, including several quality chances to keep the Crimson (0-2, 0-2) within one goal. While not asked to do as much as her counterpart, Jenna Lang of Centennial (2-0, 2-0) made five saves in the shutout — her first of the season.
The Crimson defeated their Northwest Suburban Conference rivals 2-1 last fall to win their state title.
Maple Grove’s Macie Sides (23) looks for an open teammate during Wednesday night’s match against Centennial. The Crimson fell to the Cougars 1-0 at Centennial High School. Photo by Jeff Lawler, SportsEngine
MN Soccer Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.