Orono senior forward Alex Kill showed a killer instinct with his knack for scoring big goals at crucial moments in the recently completed boys’ soccer playoffs.

Kill scored seven goals and had four assists in the postseason, including a sudden-death “golden goal” in the Spartans’ 1-0 victory over Willmar in the Class 1A, Section 6 final. He did it again in an even bigger game, heading in a corner kick in overtime as Orono won its first boys’ soccer state title with a 2-1 victory over Breck.

Strong start

The Minneapolis Novas girls’ hockey team won only five games last season but opened the 2015-16 campaign with consecutive victories over South Suburban Conference teams, defeating Apple Valley 4-3 and Rosemount 11-2. Sophomore forward Lila Maus scored two goals in each game.

Odds and ends

• Chanhassen’s Hayley Haakenstad, who won the Class 2A girls’ tennis singles championship last month, signed a national letter of intent to play for Nebraska. “It just felt like the right place for me,” Haakenstad said.

• Maple Grove’s 6-9 senior forward Reed Nikko signed a national letter of intent to play basketball for the University of Missouri.

• Erin O’Toole, a 6-4 center for Hopkins’ Class 4A championship teams in 2011, 2012 and 2013, has transferred from North Dakota to Division III Wis.-Eau Claire.

• Bloomington Jefferson senior John Carlson finished his football season with 982 receiving yards, a 21.3 yards-per-catch average and 14 touchdowns, all school records.

• A recent article in “Let’s Play Hockey” newspaper by Kim McCullough, former Division I player at Dartmouth and founder of total-femalehockey.com, says the concussion rate for women’s hockey players is the highest of all NCAA-sponsored sports.

Jim Paulsen