Minnetonka survived a late push by Maple Grove, then prevailed in a 5-4 shootout victory Tuesday in the Class 2A girls' soccer quarterfinals at Prior Lake High School.
After the two teams played through overtime tied 1-1, they traded goal after goal through four shooters. After Grace Weisman beat Crimson goalkeeper Martha Schmid in the fifth round, Skippers senior Paige Kahlmeyer made one last diving stop of a shot by Maple Grove leading scorer Mannon McMahon to clinch the victory.
"I knew I just had to read [the shooter] right," Kahlmeyer said. "They kept going to [my right]. One went to the left, and I was like, 'OK, I'll shake it off.' I knew as soon as [McMahon] lined up, she's going right."
Kahlmeyer made two diving saves in overtime to keep the score tied 1-1.
"Every time I dive, I just hope I push it wide," Kahlmeyer said. "After coming back from an ACL [injury], I just gotta launch and get a touch on the ball."
The Skippers (14-4-1) scored first in the ninth minute of the game when Riley Brackin redirected a pass from Jess Kollodge into the open net.
The fifth-seeded Crimson (15-3-2) had only one shot the first 48 minutes, but Kelley Kloncz tied it with a goal in the 28th minute of the second half. On a breakaway she slid a shot under a diving Kahlmeyer into the net.
The Crimson gained momentum from its goal and had more chances than Minnetonka to score after that, but couldn't get past Kahlmeyer.
"[Kahlmeyer] is a kid that comes up big," Minnetonka coach Jeff Hopkins said. "She has time and time again for the past three years for us. ... You need a hot goalkeeper and that's what we have."
Eagan 2, St. Michael-Albertville 0: The Wildcats (17-0-3) got two goals from Julia Barger and dominated time of possession, as they advanced to the state semifinals despite being repeatedly stymied by Knights goalkeeper Meriel Orham.
Orham "stepped up huge, making some incredible saves," Wildcats coach Bulut Ozturk said of the sophomore, who unofficially finished with 10 saves. "[The Knights] back line won some 50-50s being able to clear those out. We needed that [first] goal to settle in, settle down."
Barger's first goal came on a rebound in the 24th minute. Orham leaped toward one of the top corners of the net to knock a free kick by Jessica Van Wyk from the net, but the ball found its way to Barger who had an open net.
"We had some chances earlier in the game, but couldn't finish them," Barger said. "Getting that goal in the middle of the first half motivated us and told us we could score more goals."
Barger doubled the lead in the 21st minute of the second half by dribbling around two defenders and firing a shot over Orham's head.
The Knights (12-5-1) had their best chance to score on a free kick from 30 yards out, but Wildcats senior Megan Plaschko leaped to catch it.
"It starts with our goalie," Barger said of holding St. Michael-Albertville to one shot on goal. "She helps direct everyone."