The Mahtomedi girls’ soccer team needed to go to kicks to defeat Benilde-St. Margaret’s and capture their second straight state title last year. In the re-match, Mahtomedi got all the kicks they needed in regulation, firing 25-shots, and defeated the Red Knight 3-0 to complete the three-peat.
“We went back and looked at the tape from last year, and we were not happy with how we played”, said Dave Wald, who is in his first season as Mahtomedi head coach after serving as the J-V coach. “This year every time we got put under the pressure, they came through.”
Mahtomedi came out strong from the start, creating a couple of good opportunities in the first five minutes. It would take five more minutes before they would find the back of the goal. Tippy Jordan was at the corner of the box, halfway to the touchline, and sent a great cross to the back post. Brittany Henry met the ball and headed it home from six yards out and the early lead.
Benilde started to create some chances for themselves in the final twenty minutes of the first half, but Mahtomedi goalie Mara Hjelle would not be beaten. She only needed to make four saves for the game, but some where at keys points, and her contribution was not overlooked by the head coach.
“Mara is the most underrated goalie in the state. She has played over 2,000 minutes and only given up three goals. But because our team is so dominant, she doesn’t get the credit, but there are some dangerous balls that she just makes look simple and eats them up.”
Jordan would give the Zephyrs some breathing room four minutes into the second half. She cracked a free kick from 30-yards out that beat Benilde goalie Maddie Jobe in the upper ninety.
“That was a rip,” acknowledged Wald. “She gets so nervous for games, but tonight it just seems like she let it go and relaxed and played her game like she can. She was having the time of her life out there and just looked great.”
Jordan added her second goal of the game in the 70th minute with a shot from 20-yards out. Jobe got a hand on it, but she couldn’t keep it out of the goal, and nobody could keep Mahtomedi from winning their 3rd straight Class A championship. They finish the season 23-0-1, with the 3-peat, and the 5th title overall in girls’ soccer.