Hill-Murray goalkeeper Natalie Humbert denies Mahtomedi’s Lily Lindquist in front of the net in a 1-0 shoutout Thursday night at Hill-Murray. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
Hill-Murray's Ariadna Vargas scored the game's lone-goal in the Pioneers' 1-0 win over the Zephyrs Thursday night. The Pioneers handed Mahtomedi its first defeat of the season. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
Hill-Murray plans to enjoy its win Thursday night over three-time defending Class 1A state champion Mahtomedi, but the Pioneers know a high-stakes rematch could soon be on the horizon.
A goal by sophomore midfielder Ariadna Vargas with 18 minutes, 11 seconds remaining in the second half made the difference for Hill-Murray (5-1-1, 5-1-1) in its 1-0 defeat of Mahtomedi (4-1-0, 4-1-0) at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood.
The rival schools are separated by just 6 miles and have met in the last four Class 1A, Section 4 championship games. The Zephyrs won the last three en route to state titles each time.
“It’s always meant a lot to us, just because it always comes down to us two in the section final,” said Hill-Murray senior captain Kate Olson. “We played our hearts out and it felt so good to win. We moved the ball really well.”
Mahtomedi, ranked No. 3 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, entered the night having allowed just two goals in four games this season. The Zephyrs had another standout defensive showing for two thirds of Thursday’s match.
An Ariadna Vargas goal midway through the second half helped Hill-Murray knock off three-time defending Class 1A state champion Mahtomedi in Thursday’s regular-season finale for the Metro East Conference foes.
Vargas, a sophomore, beat the goalkeeper on the ground, sneaking the ball in the right side to give the Pioneers (5-1-1, 5-1-1) a 1-0 win over the Zephyrs (4-1-0, 4-1-0) at Hill-Murray High School in Maplewood.
Vargas’ score with 18 minutes, 11 seconds remaining was the Pioneers’ first shot on goal of the game to that point. Mahtomedi, ranked No. 3 in the Class 1A coaches’ poll, had allowed just two goals entering the night, backstopped by junior goalkeeper Paige Janssen.
Goalkeeper Natalie Humbert finished with seven saves, helping the Pioneers shut out their fourth straight opponent.
The Metro East rivals, which are separated by 6 miles, have met each of the last four years in the Class 1A, Section 4 championship match, with Mahtomedi prevailing in the last three en route to winning three consecutive state titles.
Mahtomedi’s Erika Broten splits the defense during a drive in the first half Thursday night in a Zephyr’s 1-0 loss to the Pioneer’s at Hill-Murray. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
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