Minnetonka's Kayla Mahabadi (5), Grace Weisman (16) and Emme Lindberg (8) celebrated their team's victory over Wayzata as time expired in the second half. Photo: ANTHONY SOUFFLE • firstname.lastname@example.org
Minnetonka’s journey to soccer redemption began with an overtime loss in last season’s section finals and ended Friday with a 1-0 upset victory of Wayzata in the Class 2A state championship game.
“Every Minute Counts,” the girls’ motto, was tested by accumulating postseason minutes. Three consecutive overtime victories required every bit of their resolve. So when it came time to play Wayzata for a third time this season, the two previous shutouts losses no longer mattered to them.
No. 5 seed Minnetonka (16-4-1) proved it belonged, claiming its third state title in program history thanks to Grace Weisman and Riley Brackin, who co-authored the game’s lone goal. And thanks to senior goalkeeper Paige Kahlmeyer, sidelined the better part of two seasons by a knee injury, who secured victory with nine second-half saves.
“They were the ones who really took care of it,” Minnetonka coach Jeff Hopkins said of his senior captain trio. “You hear a lot in chants, especially in the Lake Conference, ‘What’s a Skipper?’ A Skipper is a leader. These three did what they needed to do today to get the win for our program.”
Playing a rival three times in a season didn’t faze Minnetonka.
The Skippers disposed of Edina in the section semifinals and avenged two losses to Eden Prairie with a section championship game victory.
Minnetonka's ultimate redemption came Friday in a 1-0 upset victory against Wayzata in the Class 2A championship game at U.S. Bank Stadium.
No. 5 seed Minnetonka (16-4-1-) claimed its third state title in program history (2001, 2013).
A first-half goal from Riley Brackin held up as the Skippers overcame two previous shutout losses to No. 2 Wayzata (17-4).
Grace Weisman intercepted a short pass attempt near the 50-yard line, dribbled into midfield and split two Wayzata defenders with a pass toward Brackin. Already in good position between the ball and the Trojans’ defender, Brackin ran onto the ball then fired from about 10 yards out to beat goalkeeper Madison Lo far left.
Skippers goalkeeper Paige Kahlmeyer made nine saves.
Check back later for more on the game.