ST. CLOUD — A loss to Eastview back on Sept. 29 ended a 32-game victory streak for defending Class 2A girls' soccer champion Eagan. It also helped the team relax a little before playoffs, coach Bulut Ozturk said.
"Losing that Eastview game, I believe, was necessary for this group," Ozturk said. "I needed something like that to happen for them so that we can be prepared."
Eagan, which has won nine of 10 since that loss, defeated second-seeded Mounds View 4-2 in the state tournament semifinals Monday at Husky Stadium in St. Cloud.
The third-seeded Wildcats (18-2-1) scored less than four minutes into each half, countering Mounds View's strong defense by maintaining pressure on offense.
"It's been our thing," forward Sydney Flannery said of starting fast. "It hasn't happened all the time, but we do it often."
Flannery scored Eagan's first goal just 3:11 into the game, but Mounds View's Rachel Boyer tied the score in the 28th minute.
After halftime Sydney Sherek of Eagan deflected a free kick into the net 2 minutes, 42 seconds into the second half. Taylor Kenealy extended the lead with a goal about 13 minutes later, and Jade King scored in the 70th minute.
Mounds View's Mariah Northrop scored on a penalty kick in the 76th minute.
"I feel like we came back pretty well," said Boyer, who has committed to North Dakota State. "It's always important to keep a positive outlook. That's the mind-set we had."
"We expected them to be very good, but we also expected to be able to match them."
The Mustangs (19-1-1) had given up more than one goal just once this season. They had won every game since a Sept. 1 tie against Burnsville.
"I didn't think four goals was going to happen," Flannery said, "but you never know what can happen."