Robbinsdale/Hopkins/Mound Westonka won its first PI Division adapted soccer state tournament championship in seven years with a 7-5 victory over Dakota United on Saturday at Stillwater High School.
The Robins (7-0) jumped to a 4-1 lead at halftime but needed to hold off an early second-half rally from the Hawks. Robins coach Marcus Onsum took a timeout 4:34 into the second half after the Hawks scored two goals.
"Our talk during halftime was that first 10 minutes of the second half was going to be key," Onsum said. "(Giving up) those two on the board didn't necessarily get our kids rattled, but woke them up. In that timeout we reiterated to commit to our man defense, especially on (their) best player Sam (Gerten). He's a difference maker. We talked about doubling down our efforts, and staying aggressive, and staying positive."
Immediately out of the timeout, the Robins took notice. Jose Leon Estrada got the momentum back by almost single-handedly scoring two goals to get the lead back to three. He also had a goal in the first half and then sealed the victory with his fourth goal of the game with 1:06 remaining.
"Jose has been incredible all season," Onsum said. "Last time we played soccer, he was a good player, but he didn't have the confidence he has this year. He found his scoring ability early in the season and never let up. You could tell things were clicking with him. His confidence was building. He carried the bulk of our scoring all season long. It was fitting that he did the work today."
The second-half rally by the Hawks (7-1) was sparked by Fiona Sitzmann. She had four goals in the half. Sam Gerten finished with two goals and three assists for the Hawks.
Ava Hetteen got the scoring started for the Robins 5:47 into the game. Marcus Brady had a goal and an assist in under six minutes to help the Robins take a 4-1 lead into halftime.
In the CI Division championship, Caden Roseth scored four goals to give Lakeville/Burnsville/Farmington its first title since 2013. The Blazing Cats beat Dakota United 6-3.
"He's a goal scorer," Lakeville/Burnsville/Farmington coach Shawn Tatge said of Roseth. "That's what he does. He wants to score. That's all he cares about. He's good at it."
The Blazing Cats (9-0) took an early 2-0 lead and never trailed. Shane Baker and Miller Hertaus also scored for the Blazing Cats.
The Hawks (8-2-1) got to within one twice on goals from Myles Johnson and Mark Manwarren. Thomas Christopherson also scored for the Hawks.