Maple Grove Girls Soccer Hoping Third Time is the Charm Against Centennial
Oct 13, 2017 06:17AM
By Doug Erlien
Maple Grove defeats Park Center 6-0. Photo by: Doug Erlien
When the season began 60 days ago, the Crimson girls soccer team wanted another opportunity to play for a section championship. The past two years, the Maple Grove season ended courtesy of the Centennial Cougars.
With the Maple Grove’s dominating 6-0 semi-final win over Coon Rapids, and Centennial’s 3-0 victory over Champlin Park, the Crimson and Cougars will play for the section championship for the third straight year.
Searching for State
In 2016, the Crimson held a one goal lead with seven minutes left in the game. Centennial tied the game, then won the game in overtime. For a program searching for its first ever state tournament berth, the loss stung,and hung with the team.
“We’ve talked about our goals and we want a state championship,” Crimson Senior Meredith Haakenson said before the season. “With the work ethic that we’ve put in and are putting in right now, I think that’s definitely visible, it’s in our future if we work hard for it.”
“This year we have the capability to beat them,” Travis said. “After last year, losing in the section final, we just don’t want to put up with it anymore.”
Earlier this year, the Crimson defeated the Cougars 3-2, breaking the winless streak against Centennial. That was the regular season. When the two teams meet on Tuesday, Oct. 17 at Crimson Stadium, the game will mean that much more.
Road to the Championship
Maple Grove (16-2) advanced to the section championship game with back-to-back 6-0 victories over Park Center and Coon Rapids. The top seeded Crimson have picked up goals from six different players in their two playoff games, including five who have multiple goals.
Goalie Sarah Cortez has back-to-back shutout wins, giving her an impressive 13 shutouts on the season.
Centennial (13-2-2) also has two shutout victories over Osseo and Champlin Park. The Cougars have scored seven goals in their two wins.