Third Time is the Charm for Maple Grove Girls Soccer
Oct 17, 2017 08:34PM ● Published by Doug Erlien
Maple Grove Senior High Girls Soccer team - Section 5AA Championship Oct. 17, 2017
With the thoughts of a last year section finals overtime loss against Centennial seared into their memories, the Crimson went to work. They finished with their best regular season in program history - winning 14 games, including a regular season thriller over Centennial.
The ultimate vindication, however, came in the 2017 Section 5AA championship game when Maple Grove scored first and then added two more in securing their first state tournament berth with a dominating 3-0 victory over the Cougars on Oct. 17.
“There’s so much carryover from last year,” Head Coach Ben LeVahn said. “I hadn’t seen a group bond as early as we did. We had kids talking about it in the summer.”
Those conversations paid off.
Senior Shelby Handberg got the Crimson on the board at the 22:29 mark in the first half giving Maple Grove the lead.
They would add to it at the 34:18 mark in the first half when junior Mannon McManon sent a rebound in the back of the net adding to the lead and giving the Crimson a 2-0 lead at halftime.
After a strong second half defensive performance, senior Meredith Haakenson placed the exclamation point on the game, scoring at 72:44 of the game.
“I think the biggest part at halftime was the really big psychological part,” Haakenson said. “We just said, third time’s the charm and let’s go out and do it.”
The Crimson open up state tournament play on Tuesday, October 23.