Family members were keeping posted on social media from as far as southern Africa. Even more family and friends, including past players, made the 60-mile drive to see it in person.
Rochester Mayo knocked on the doorstep multiple times in recent years in the section playoffs, but it hadn’t broken through in six years. That is, until No. 3 seed Rochester Mayo fended off No. 1 Lakeville South 2-0 Tuesday in the Class 3A, Section 1 final.
“We haven’t been to state since 2015. It’s an honor,” said Rochester Mayo senior midfielder Yonis Muse. “We have a lot of brothers who played soccer and we have a lot of family supporting us. Everyone on the team gave everything they got. It’s just the greatest vibe ever.”
The host Cougars finished the regular season ranked No. 2 in the Class 3A coaches’ poll and suffered their first loss of 2021in the upset. Lakeville South (14-1-1) hadn’t trailed in a game since falling behind 1-0 Sept. 16 in an eventual 2-1 win vs. Eastview.
With two upsets in a row in the Class 3A, Section 1 playoffs, Rochester Mayo is on to the state tournament.
No. 3 seed Rochester Mayo won 2-0 Tuesday at No. 1 Lakeville South in the section championship.
The Spartans (14-3-0) got on the board in the 25th minute when junior midfielder Xavier Laack scored from the right side inside 10 yards, burying the ball in the back of the net.
This was the first deficit in a game for the Cougars (14-1-1), ranked No. 2 in the Oct. 11 Class 3A coaches poll, in over a month.
The Spartans tacked on another goal in the 48th minute when senior midfielder Yonis Muse took a short pass from senior forward Timothy Persons and deposited from short range into the net.
Rochester Mayo senior goalkeeper John Hobday made 10 saves.
Lakeville South goalkeeper Zander Billins made two saves.
The Spartans beat No. 2 seed and Class 3A state No. 10 Rochester Century 2-1 in the semifinals.
Rochester Mayo advances to the state tournament for the eighth time in school history and first time since 2015. The first-round quarterfinal games for the Class 3A tournament are Oct. 26-28 at sites to be determined. Top five teams in the bracket will be seeded with No. 4 taking on No. 5 and the top three seeds meeting a random opponent among the three unseeded teams.
MN Soccer Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.