It was as if the connection between Centennial teammates Tessa Trettel and Olivia Lovick was years in the making and had dozens of games to marinate.
Trettel scored twice in the fifth-seeded Cougars' 2-1 victory against Rosemount in the girls' Class 2A state championship, and Lovick assisted on both.
Lovick, a freshman, and Trettel, a senior, were in sync inside U.S. Bank Stadium on Thursday despite this being their first season together.
"We do an annual camping trip at the start of the year," Trettel said of her and Lovick's newly forged bond, "which really pulls the team together. That and all the pasta feeds."
Trettel and Lovick's time together hit its apex in the game's 47th minute.
With her team ahead 1-0, Lovick raced down the left side of the field reached out her foot and redirected Lovick's pass past Irish goaltender Maggie Tulay.
"That is something we work on," Cougars coach Ginger Flohaug said. "Today right before the game she just wanted a couple more. She wanted that perfect ball across the six, and it was perfect how she finished that today."
Rosemount junior Lauren Bangh scored with under seven minutes to play, but Centennial allowed only two other shots in the game.
For Flohaug, this championship is the culmination of 14 years at the head of a Cougar girls' soccer program.
And despite graduating Trettel and eight other seniors, Flohaug is looking forward to Lovick's return.
"I looked up to all the upperclassmen," Lovick said. "I learned a lot about soccer and life from them."
Ellis L. Williams