Benilde-St. Margaret's senior Maren Noble is a three-time soccer state champion, winning the title with her team at three different venues.

In her freshman year Noble and the Red Knights won the Class 1A title inside the Metrodome. Last year it was at St. Cloud State University. On Thursday they successfully defended their title as Noble assisted on one goal and scored the other in a 2-1 victory against Mankato West to earn championship medal No. 3 inside U.S. Bank Stadium.

"Winning freshman year in the Metrodome was amazing and that really motivated me today especially," Noble said. "It's an amazing feeling to win, and emotional, but exciting at the same time."

Noble, a Ms. Soccer finalist and a Star Tribune All-Metro second team selection, made her presence felt in the first 25 seconds of the game. With two defenders closing, Noble sent a cross field pass to Amanda Cassidy just outside the 18-yard box. Cassidy took a few dribbles in and beat Mankato West goalie Mel Lobitz on a shot far right.

"That was a little lapse and we were not quite ready for it," Lobitz said. "It was a nice shot [that went] across my body."

Noble added a goal in the 35th minute and the Red Knights (18-4-1) led 2-0 at half. Scarlets junior Rachel Luedtke netted a header in the 47th minute to cut the lead in half.

But Mankato West (19-3) could not over come Benilde-St. Margaret's momentum from its goal in the game's opening moments.

"It helped the younger girls and first year varsity players gain some confidence," Noble said of the first goal. "I saw that they wanted this championship."

Ellis L. Williams