Before every soccer game, Centennial junior Khyah Harper dresses with the same spandex shorts and sports bra under her uniform, and puts her hair in a ponytail. She also puts a sock and shoe on her right foot before doing the same with her left.
It's the same routine for every game.
"If I don't do them, then I don't feel like I will play as good," Harper said. "I'm just really superstitious. I just think that when I do it that the team will do better, and I will do better overall."
Whether it was because of her superstitious habits or her speedy talent, Harper scored her second goal of her team's Class 2A girls' soccer state quarterfinal with 23 seconds left in overtime to lift Centennial to a 2-1 victory over Lakeville South on Tuesday at Farmington High School.
Harper, a Star Tribune All-Metro first-team selection, has scored 25 goals this season, including nine in postseason and a hat trick in the section final.
The winning goal came after a corner kick, using a set play Centennial works on in practice, according to Harper. She accepted a short pass and dribbled a bit before shooting the ball into the net.
Her power can match most players on boys' teams, Centennial coach Ginger Flohaug said.
"It's usually in the back of the net before the goalie knows that she even struck it," Flohaug said.
The No. 2 seed Centennial (17-2-0) took a 1-0 lead in the 28th minute on Harper's first goal on a shot into the upper corner. The lead held up until Lakeville South senior forward Sammy Ponsonby tied it 1-1 in the 44th minute.
The Centennial goals were just the sixth and seventh allowed this season by Lakeville South (15-2-2), which had its 10-game unbeaten streak come to an end.
Champlin Park 2, Stillwater 1 (SO): The top-seeded Rebels, peppered by Stillwater shots on goal and crosses into the goalie box throughout the game, made the most of their limited chances. They immediately scored after Stillwater's lone goal in regulation and, after a scoreless overtime, made all five shootout kicks for a 5-4 victory.
Freshman Paige Kalal had the game-tying goal 14 seconds after Stillwater's Sophia Steblay gave the Ponies a 1-0 lead.
Junior defender Lindsey Carlson scored the game-winning shootout goal, zipping her kick over Stillwater goalie Hadley Johnson's head.
Her twin sister, Megan, a Star Tribune All-Metro first-team selection, appeared to sustain a serious leg injury in the second half.
"I was really worried about her," said Carlson, who sat by her sister's side during a 25-minute injury timeout. "Usually she's kind of a toughie, and she doesn't like to show her pain, so when she was down, I knew it was something big."
Stillwater (16-4) controlled the ball for much of the first half, thanks in part to a stiff breeze at its back and seven corner kicks, though an apparent first-half goal was waved off because of goalie interference. Steblay scored after the injury break, before Kalal immediately answered, finding the net after corralling a pass up a seam in Stillwater's defense.
"It seemed like we were trying to look for that ball pretty much the whole game," she said.
Champlin Park coach Keith Pavelka said the wind made it difficult to pass the ball more than 10 or 15 yards in the first half.
He said he was planning to give Lindsey Carlson the shot at the game-winning kick, because of her ability and her sister's injury.
"Every day in practice she puts them away every single time," Pavelka said. "Just the situation and with [Megan] going down, I thought, 'she's got to go take it if we get in that spot.' "
Maple Grove 2, Minnetonka 0: Facing a stiff wind in the first half, the No. 5-seeded Crimson aimed to keep the halftime score 0-0 against the No. 4-seeded Skippers.
Maple Grove did that. Then the Crimson scored twice with the wind at their backs in the second half.
Jordan Pauly scored on a header with 29:50 left in regulation on a crossing pass from Emma Fournier.
Abby Schulte scored on a penalty kick with 21:42 left, and the Crimson defense contained the Skippers in the final 20 minutes.
"We just knew if we could keep them 0-0 first half that second half we'd be able to finish," Pauly said.
Maple Grove coach Ben LeVahn said his team played well in the first half, but that the wind was limiting. He said Pauly did a nice job exercising patience on her goal.
The Crimson (16-2-1) was making its third consecutive state appearance. Minnetonka (15-3-1) was aiming to repeat as state champion in its third appearance in four years.
Skippers coach Jeff Hopkins called it "a tough night for all the teams that played here, but certainly it's just a matter of we have to capitalize on our chances. You got to finish your chances, and we didn't, and certainly they did."
Rosemount 1, Cretin-Derham Hall 0: Junior attacker Kenzie Jacobson's goal in the 14th minute — a shot that hit off a goalpost before bouncing into the net — was all the No. 3-seeded Irish needed for a Class 2A quarterfinal victory.
"I had the ball at the top of the box, and I knew that I could beat the girl, I just had to dribble past her," Jacobson said. "I just looked at the shot and shot it hard."
Cretin-Derham Hall (15-5-0) had chances early in the second half. But the Irish kept Raiders senior Paige Peltier, a 41-goal scorer this season, at bay.
Rosemount coach Gretchen Stramel put senior Sophie Parla in charge of defending Peltier, telling Parla to "be the first to the ball."
"Don't let her [Peltier] get it because everybody knows when Paige gets the ball on her foot, it's terrifying," Stramel said.
Rosemount (18-2-0) earned its eighth shutout of the season with freshman Jordan Hecht in net.