Anoka-Hennepin Mustangs’ adapted soccer season came to an end at the state tournament at Stillwater High School Nov. 15-16.
The Mustangs (physically impaired) team rebounded from a 6-0 semifinal loss to Dakota United to win the third-place trophy over South Suburban 5-2.
Freshman Joe Manion scored twice and senior goalie Andrew Peterson stopped 29 shots for the Mustangs. Also scoring were sophomore Hana France, freshman Kai France and senior Tyler Ezell.
Mustangs coach Sue Opat said the team continued to improve all season, finishing with a 6-3 record.
“They were a great passing team,” she said. “I’ve never seen a team that puts so much effort into games and practices. They improved a lot this year because of all the hard work.”
Opat said Anoka-Hennepin simply ran into a very good Dakota United squad in the semifinals.
Couple that with a couple players not feeling well and the result was a loss.
“I’m not taking anything away from Dakota United, we would have needed to play a perfect game in order to beat them,” Opat said.
Anoka-Hennepin opened state with a 10-0 win over St. Paul Highland Park in which it had 39 shots.
Hana led the way with four goals followed by Manion with three, Kai with two and Hailey Roering with one goal. Peterson and Manion teamed up for the shutout. The same pair posted 28 saves in the semifinal loss to Dakota United.
Hana led the team in scoring with 19 goals and Ezell had 10 goals.
Peterson had 96 saves and goalie Ben Schmitz had 53 saves and both were described as the team leaders by Opat. “They were always trying to get the team fired up and were both positive teammates,” she said.
Peterson and Schmitz were named to the all-tournament team. Hana, Ezell and Peterson were named to the all-conference team.
Anoka-Hennepin’s (cognitive impaired) squad found itself in a rare spot out of the championship game for the first time in a while.
“We had a good season, but ran into some tough teams at the tournament,” coach Ted Johnson said.
The top seed from the north division came into state with a record of 9-1, but lost twice on Nov. 16 to place fourth in the state tournament and finish with a 10-3 record.
“This was a team that played together more than [they] relied on one or two individuals to do everything,” Johnson said.
Thirteen of the 20 rostered players scored at some point during the season. “They were very unselfish and willing to play any position we asked,” Johnson said.
The Burnsville/Farmington/Lakevile Blazin Cats downed the Mustangs 5-2 in the semifinals. Anoka-Hennepin goals came from senior Addese Ferguson-Mason and freshman Cole Denny. Goalie Alex Johnson made 16 saves.
South Washington County, top seeds from the south, handed the Mustangs a 6-3 defeat in the third-place game.
Ferguson-Mason had two goals and freshman Hannah Johnson collected the other goal for the Mustangs.
The Blazin Cats won the state title over Park Center 8-1.
Anoka-Hennepin opened with a 6-1 win over Chaska/Chanhassen/Prior Lake/Shakopee Southern Stars in the quarterfinals. Seniors Dillon Domeier and Ferguson-Mason, sophomore Joe VonMende and seventh grader Aimee Tauber all scored a goal, while Johnson stopped 22 shots.
Domeier was the top scorer for the season with 36 points (27 goals) followed by Denny with 30 points (21 goals).
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