Freshman Phillip Worzie scored 53 goals for the Park Center adapted soccer team during the regular season and was expected to add to that number last weekend in the cognitively impaired (CI) division of the state tournament.
But when the Pirates lost their goalie hours before the tournament, Worzie grabbed the yellow jersey and stepped into the role. He also maintained his identity as the Pirates’ offensive catalyst.
In the quarterfinals, Worzie kept the score tied at 1-1. With 10 minutes left, he moved from the net to his regular position at center forward. He scored three goals to lift the Pirates to a 4-2 victory against Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee.
Defense ruled in the semifinals as Worzie made 14 saves and kept Minneapolis Roosevelt well below its scoring average in an 11-2 romp. Worzie added two goals, including one on a penalty kick.
In the championship game, Worzie kept No. 1 seed North Suburban off the scoreboard with numerous fingertip saves. The game was scoreless at the end of regulation.
Moving once again from the net to the floor, Worzie scored the winning goal in overtime to lift the program to its first state championship since 2009.
College choice made
Maple Grove senior Maddie Tharp signed earlier this month to play basketball at Division II Truman State University in Kirksville, Mo. Tharp, a 6-3 forward, led the Crimson with 35 blocks as a junior and finished second on the team in rebounding and three-point field goal percentage.
Tharp helped lead the Crimson to a share of the Northwest Suburban West Conference championship — their second in program history.
David La Vaque