Edina remained unbeaten with a 2-0 victory in a Class 2A boys' soccer semifinal against Minneapolis Washburn at U.S. Bank Stadium. But a game-changing penalty left the Millers faithful fuming.
Less than five minutes into the second half of a 0-0 game, officials gave starting Washburn goalkeeper Ben Schliemann a red card and ejected him for a foul on the Hornets' Oscar Smythe that "denied a goal-scoring opportunity," said Steve Clark, coordinator of officials for the Minnesota State High School League.
"I chased after the ball and got a quick touch on it and the goalie clipped me," Smythe said. "That definitely altered the game in a good way for us."
No. 4 seed Washburn (16-4-1) put backup Ryan Everhart in net but remained one field player short for the duration. It was the first time the Millers played a man down all season.
"It's a challenge because they are so good defensively," Millers coach Aaron Percy said. "One of our keys is trying to possess the ball and when we lose a player off the field, it puts us in a situation that we have to change our game to something that totally doesn't fit what we like to do."
No. 1 seed Edina (21-0) got second-half goals from Sammy Presthus and Smythe. The game marked the sixth consecutive outing in which Edina has not conceded a goal.
Edina beat the Millers 3-2 in the regular-season opener for both teams.
"Things happen in the course of a game all the time," Percy said. "We still didn't score when we were even up. Edina played well. Maybe it could have been a 0-0 game going into overtime. Who knows?"