The co-stars of East Ridge's 1-0 Class 2A boys' soccer semifinal victory — senior midfielder Miles Sitcawich and junior goalkeeper Nick Wagner — made the plays that mattered thanks to their teammates' trust.
The third-seeded Raptors (17-2-1) and St. Paul Central (19-2) played 100 minutes of soccer without a goal before moving to a penalty-kick shootout.
"All these guys came up to me and said, 'Nick, you've got this,' " Wagner said. "I knew if these guys could score, I had to do something for them."
Wagner would have the final word, made possible by Sitcawich.
After five shooters from each side, it was a 4-4 stalemate — Central's miss the result of a Wagner save.
From there, each round could decide the outcome. Sitcawich offered his services to any teammate who wasn't feeling it. Cullen Featherstone, a Mr. Soccer finalist known for his defensive prowess, asked, "Miles, you want to take it?"
Though nervous, Sitcawich had a plan. Two weeks ago, "[I] started using my laces and hammering it low corner," he said.
Then Wagner was up to face the Minutemen's sixth shooter. And he also had a plan.
"I just had that feeling that he was going left," he said. "I trusted my gut and went there. You just hope to get something on it."
It worked. East Ridge advanced to its first title game since 2015. Central's 18-game winning streak had ended.
Afterward, Central senior captain Max Hand hugged his team's final shooter, sophomore Dylan Barrett.
"We wouldn't be here without him," Hand said. "I wouldn't have been able to do that when I was a sophomore. Like I said to the team before the PKs, 'We're a family. Whatever happens, happens.' "