The Benilde-St. Margaret Red Knights haven't lost a match since last year's Class 1A state championship. Their quest for redemption nearly ended Friday night in Cottage Grove, but senior attacker Maria Michels had other plans, scoring twice in a 2-1 overtime win over St. Peter.
The Saints focused on defense in this quarterfinal match, and the Red Knights offense -- which has been averaging just over four goals per game this season -- was held largely silent until Michels got busy.
"They were just getting behind the ball," Benilde head coach Scott Helling-Christy said of St. Peter's defense. "Every time we won the ball, they got back and protected their goal. We just had to find a way to break it down."
It didn't happen until the final minutes of the opening half, but Michels broke down the Saints defense by drawing first blood with a 15-yard goal, assisted by sophomore defender Mimi Burns.
The Red Knights were held scoreless through the second half, but Michels found the net again to end the sudden-death overtime period and advance the Red Knights to the semifinal round.
St. Peter senior midfielder Tori Wilking evened the score at one midway through the second half on a beautiful direct shot that found the upper left corner of the net.
"Possessionwise, we kept the ball and created more chances than they did," Helling-Christy said. "We were just hoping that because of that it was going to go in our favor."
South St. Paul 1, Kasson Mantorville 0: There was plenty of running in the Class 1A quarterfinal match between South St. Paul and Kasson-Mantorville, but very little scoring.
Freshman forward Hannah Marion scored for South St. Paul, poking the ball in from 5 yards out in the game's 23rd minute.