Defending state champion Eastview rallied to edge Owatonna 2-1 in overtime Thursday in a Class 2A boys’ soccer state quarterfinal at Park of Cottage Grove High School.
Senior Sam Fluegge set the winning play in motion, throwing the ball from the sidelines into a scrum of bodies parked outside the Huskies’ goal. Jacob Wilson got his head on the ball and Jack Teske his heel on it before the ball took a few more bounces and wound up in the net. Officials ruled it an Owatonna own-goal.
Players on No. 3 seed Eastview (14-3-1) gathered for celebratory hugs while Fluegge walked the sideline with his hand in the air like a basketball player who drained the final shot. The Lightning advance to Monday’s semifinals at the Metrodome.
“We knew they had big throws all day and we defended it well,” Owatonna coach Bob Waypa said. “It just came down to that one time.”
Owatonna (15-2-2) took the early lead when Joe Nelson buried a penalty kick in the 14th minute. The Huskies went 2-0-2 against Eastview’s peers in the South Suburban Conference and, Waypa said, were “not intimidated by anyone.”
Eastview players sensed as much.
“We were definitely nervous throughout the game, but we tried to keep focused and keep fighting,” Fluegge said.
The Lightning, ranked No. 8 in final coaches’ poll, struck for the second-half equalizer. Mubarak Hassan put away the rebound of a shot by Star Tribune All-Metro First Team selection Pierce Erickson. Hassan, a strong distance runner in track, considered giving up soccer for cross country this fall, but he stayed with soccer.
Owatonna’s players will be replaying some golden chances missed throughout this game. Noah Amundson and Jared Santibanez both used their skills to create scoring chances but were unable to finish and prolong the best season in school history.
“A couple that we missed, we hit nine out of 10 times,” Waypa said. “We knew the second goal was huge because we only allowed more than one goal twice all season. I thought if we could have gotten it in regulation we would have won.”
Edina 1, Elk River/Zimmerman 0: Hornets junior goalkeeper Tanner Morrison weathered a second half storm against Elks to preserve a 1-0 victory in the second Class state quarterfinal at Park of Cottage Grove.