As her teammates converged into a screaming huddle in the middle of Mall of America Field on Thursday, Kylie Schwarz watched from afar.
The Wayzata senior enjoyed the immediate moments after the Trojans won the Class 2A girls' soccer state championship with a 2-0 victory over White Bear Lake -- alone.
A smirk came across the three-time state champion's face as she watched the group celebrate before slowly walking in their direction.
"I wanted to step back and take in the moment on the field," Schwarz said. "I wanted to see everyone coming together. It defined what our season was all about."
The Trojans' fourth consecutive trip to the state final produced all the normal nervous feelings for Schwarz and her teammates, but there was one difference. Schwarz never had felt more confident about the outcome. Making sure it would turn out the way she had envisioned it, the all-state midfielder scored the game's first goal in the 39th minute just before halftime.
Her goal was the game's only offense through almost 79 minutes of a defensive struggle. There were only six shots on goal, just one by White Bear Lake, which kept the game within reach for the Bears. Until the final 70 seconds, that is, when Wayzata reserve Ruby Stauber put the game away with a header, assisted by Olivia Musser.
"We kept it tight in the back," Trojans goalkeeper Mara Dougherty said.
The seventh state title under coach Tony Peszneker held extra significance. Despite the numerous championship berths, this was the first time the Trojans won back-to-back titles.