November 03, 2017 12:11 AM
Ellen Pagois picked a heck of a time to score her first goal of the season.
Eagan's junior midfielder headed a corner kick into the Maple Grove net with 6-seconds left in the Class AA Girls Soccer State Championship to give the Wildcats a 2-1 win and their third state title in four years.
Click the video box on this page to see extended highlights and postgame interviews from the 2017 Class AA Girls Soccer State Championship game between Eagan and Maple Grove
Pagois was left open and rose up to contact Grace Sjoberg's kick with the very back of her head, deflecting it into a virtually open net for as close to a buzzer-beater as you'll see in soccer.
Sjoberg had to hurry to get the corner kick off, corralling the ball and placing it on the turf just as the clock ticked into single digits.
Pagois' heroics might not have been as impactful if not for a remarkable save by Eagan keeper Megan Plaschko a few minutes earlier in the second half.
As a high-arcing shot descended just a few yards off her goal line, the ball slipped through Plaschko's hands. It bounded off her hands and toward the vacant goal behind her. As a Maple Grove attacker prepared to pounce, Plaschko immediately recovered and scrambled toward the vacant left side of her goal. Just as the kick left the Crimson forward's foot, Plaschko leapt - arms outstretched - toward the gaping space at the far side of her net. She caught just enough of the ball to direct it wide and keep the game tied 1-1.
The 1-1 score came after another Eagan player picked an opportune time to record her first goal of the season.
Trailing 1-0 in the first half Eagan had a free kick some 40 yards from the Maple Grove goal. Junior defender Jessica Van Wyk struck an absolutely perfect ball that soared nearly half the length of the U.S. Bank Stadium field before squeezing through a gap of mere inches between the crossbar and the leaping Maple Grove keeper's outstretched fingers.
Maple Grove's Meredith Haakenson - who sent Maple Grove into the Championship game with a shootout winner in the Semifinals - opened the scoring 18 minutes into the game.
The Crimson finish the season 19-3, making the State Final in their first-ever trip to the State Tournament.
Eagan winds up 17-2-2 in their third title-winning campaign in the last four years.
Click here to see the official box score for the 2017 Class AA Girls Soccer State Championship game
Updated: November 03, 2017 12:11 AM
Created: November 03, 2017 12:10 AM
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