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Minnetonka girls shut out Owatonna to get back in the win column

By Luke Hanlon, SportsEngine, 09/09/17, 10:45AM CDT


The Skippers took an early 2-0 lead in the first half.

Minnetonka's Riley Brackin (left) battles for the ball near midfield with Owatonna senior Sophie Amundson Saturday afternoon. Brackin scored once as the Skippers defeated the Huskies 3-0. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

It was a perfect day for soccer on Saturday as sunshine cast down on the pitch at Minnetonka High School throughout the nonconference matchup between Owatonna and Minnetonka. The play from the Skippers was about as perfect as the 73-degree weather, as they shut out the Huskies in a 3-0 victory.

The Skippers, who are ranked No. 7 in the Class 2A coaches’ poll, got off to an ideal start when Abigail Campbell headed in a goal after Riley Brackin played in a perfect cross from the left wing.

Minnetonka (6-2, 1-1) added a second goal just six minutes later when Anna Erickson played a short pass to Madi Henry, who finished with a one-time shot that gave Owatonna keeper Julia Haarstead no chance at a save.

Minnetonka coach, Jeff Hopkins, said that the two early goals drained the energy of Owatonna a bit and proved to be the difference in the game.

“That first goal,” he said of Campbell’s header, “obviously was the game-winner and it took us all the way through.”

The Skippers tacked on an insurance goal late in the second half when Emilia Johnson hit a strike from 30 yards out that went bar-down and back out onto the field. The assistant referee immediately ruled it a goal after he saw that the ball crossed the goal line.

Brackin was impressed by Johnson’s goal.

“An inch higher, it would have gone out—but it was perfectly placed. I thought it was great,” she said.

Hopkins was pleased with his team’s performance, especially because it came right after an overtime loss to Edina on Thursday night, a game that Hopkins described as a heartbreaker.

The Huskies had to travel over hour north to get to Minnetonka, and they came up empty-handed in their quest for a win against a ranked opponent. Despite the loss, coach Matt Roddy complimented his team’s performance.

“I thought we competed really well,” he said. He emphasized that the first half was pretty even, despite the Huskies giving up two goals.

This is the third-straight year that Owatonna (4-3, 1-2) has played Minnetonka, and after two close losses over the past two years, Roddy was expecting to come out of today’s game with at least a point.

“We thought we had a chance to win,” he said. “We came here to get a result, so we’re disappointed we didn’t get that.”

After playing two games in three days, the Skippers will have until next Thursday to prepare for a clash against Lake Conference foe Wayzata. The Trojans are ranked as the top team in Class 2A, and Hopkins agrees with the ranking.

“We have to be ready for what I think is the best team in the state,” he said when discussing the upcoming game. 

Minnetonka senior goalkeeper Ally Cyr squashes an Owatonna scoring chance as Huskies' forward Grace Wolfe applies pressure. Cyr recorded the shutout as the Skippers won, 3-0. Photo by Drew Herron, SportsEngine

First Report

Owatonna traveled over an hour north to play Minnetonka on Saturday at Minnetonka High School, but it was the Skippers who took care of business at home, beating the Huskies 3-0.

Just under four minutes into the game, Riley Brackin played in a great ball from the left wing that connected with Abigail Campbell to put the Skippers, who are ranked No. 7 in the Class 2A coaches' poll, on the board.  Campbell headed the ball at the Owatonna goalkeeper, Julia Haarsted, who made the stop, but the ball had already crossed the goal line.

The Skippers (6-2, 1-1) doubled their lead in the 10th minute when Madi Henry slotted home a one-time shot into the back of the net. Anna Erickson picked out Henry, who was given acres of space, and Henry put it past Haarstead to give Minnetonka the 2-0 lead.

The Huskies (4-3, 1-2) settled themselves after the two quick goals and responded, as they had multiple chances to pull within a goal. Their best chance came with under 10 minutes left in the first half when Nicole Vargas got a clean shot off from six yards out. The ball had been fought for by multiple players and it fell to Vargas’ foot, but Ally Cyr made a huge save to keep the game at 2-0.

Emilia Johnson added a goal in the second half on a shot from 30 yards out to secure three points for the Skippers. 

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