Wayzata was the overwhelming preseason selection to win the Class 2A boys' soccer state tournament, and with good reason. The team still had seven starters back from its state championship team of two years ago.
The Trojans were on everyone's hit list, and were on the brink of not even being a member of the eight-team field for the second consecutive year. That was until Wayzata "stepped it up another level," according to senior midfielder Colin Monasterio.
Wayzata (15-1-3) rallied to score twice in the final four minutes, 40 seconds to escape with a 3-2 victory over St. Louis Park in the Section 6 finals. St. Louis Park scored with 20 minutes remaining to take a 2-1 lead.
Senior Pat Garrity scored the game-winner with 45 seconds remaining for the Trojans, who suffered their only loss a year ago in the section semifinals to Minnetonka.
"We had to leave everything on the field," Monasterio said. "That was the best 20 minutes we have played."
The Trojans are seeded third, behind Anoka (18-0-2) and Apple Valley (17-1-2).
"Every senior would like to finish their career with a state championship," Monasterio said. "That is the fairy tale ending."
Apple Valley coach Chuck Scanlon has been telling anybody willing to listen not to overlook his defending champion Eagles. Their only loss was 1-0 to Lakeville North.
The Eagles, led by seniors Mike and Nick Hutton and Sam Hautman, are looking for the school's eighth title.
Woodbury also will be looking to successfully defend its girls' title. The top-seeded Royals (18-1-1) have won the title four times.
The coaches association did an about-face in the seeding process for the state tournament. In their final regular-season poll, Blake's boys' and girls' teams were both ranked No. 1. Neither team garnered the No. 1 seed for the state tournament.
Benilde-St. Margaret's boys' and girls' teams came away with the top seed in the state tournament polling, with Blake falling to No. 2 in both.
The Red Knights boys and Mahtomedi girls are the defending champions.
Ron Haggstrom firstname.lastname@example.org