Benilde-St. Margaret's Wins Class 1A Girls' State Soccer Championship

November 03, 2016 08:30 PM

Entering postseason play, Benilde-St. Margaret’s wasn’t favored to repeat as the Class A girls’ soccer champion. The Red Knights were 2-1-1 in their final four regular-season games and then seeded No. 2 in the Section 5A tournament behind Totino-Grace.

Something clicked, though, when the postseason began and the Red Knights proved to be unstoppable. Benilde-St. Margaret’s went on a postseason scoring tear that ended with a 2-1 victory over Mankato West in the Class A championship game Thursday at U.S. Bank Stadium. 

Sophomore midfielder Amanda Cassidy scored 25 seconds after the opening kick and senior midfielder Maren Noble added another first-half goal to spark the Red Knights (18-4-1) to their fourth Class A championship in the past five seasons. 

During seven postseason games, the Red Knights outscored the opposition 30-5. The Red Knights’ 19-to-2 goal differential in the section tournament earned them the top seed for the state tournament. 

The latest championship made Benilde-St. Margaret’s the answer to this trivia question: Which Class A team has won championships in three different venues? Answer: The Red Knights, who won the 2012 and ’13 championships at the Metrodome, the 2015 crown last year at St. Cloud State, and now, this season’s title in the first year of U.S. Bank Stadium.

The Red Knights wasted little time in claiming the momentum. 

Off the opening kick, Noble sent a pass to a streaking Cassidy, who completed the breakaway with a one touch. Noble scored in the 35th minute to give the Red Knights a two-goal halftime advantage. 

Mankato West (19-3-0), the No. 3 seed, climbed to within 2-1 on a goal by sophomore midfielder Rachel Luedtke in the 48th minute.

(Courtesy: MN State High School League)

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