Men’s Soccer Clinches State Berth in OT Win


Cori Roberts

An overtime win over Rosemount vaulted the Eagles to the state tournament.

Apple Valley men’s soccer advanced to the state tournament Tuesday night after a goal in overtime by senior midfielder, Justin Mutua. He lifted the Eagles over the Rosemount Irish in the closely contested section final game.

Scoring chances were few and far between for both teams in the first half, with the Eagles accumulating only six shots on goal in the first forty minutes and the Irish with only four in the same period. The Eagles defense, led by senior Ryan Daggett and sophomore Connor Elumba, was able to frustrate Rosemount and keep the ball away from the Irish forwards for most of the game.

Brady LaBahn
Apple Valley lines up for a free kick early in the game.

On the offensive side of the ball, neither team was able to gain a clear advantage at any point. Rosemount’s attack was spearheaded by junior midfielder, Johnathan Gutierrez, who led the Irish with two shots on goal, and senior defender and captain ,Tyus Edmund, had several excellent passes to set up scoring chances.

The Apple Valley offense featured strong play at midfield and accurate passing. Senior midfielder, Bryan Abundis, had the Eagles’ best shot of regulation—a powerful strike from just outside the box that required a leaping save by Rosemount’s Matt Dwyer.

The end of the second half tested the Apple Valley defenders and senior goalie, Parker Jamison, as the Irish unleashed a flurry of shots in the last minute. Jamison made a terrific diving save with 30 seconds left on the clock, and then survived two consecutive corner kicks by Rosemount to send the game into overtime.

Brady LaBahn
Justin Mutua looks for an opening during the first half.

The electric atmosphere of the 10-minute sudden-death overtime took over as both teams were playing aggressively in an attempt to end the game . Apple Valley senior, Tarek Ahmed, put a shot on goal early in overtime, but was denied by Dwyer again. The Eagles goal came after Mutua was able to sneak a high shot past Dwyer after a cross put the ball right in front of the Rosemount net.

Apple Valley, long considered a dynasty in Minnesota high school soccer, has seen a bit of a drop off in recent years. However, head coach Chris Scanlon looked forward to the future saying, “It’s been quite a long time since Apple Valley’s been to the state tournament […] I’m excited for my guys to have a taste of success.” Senior forward Grant Arnhold echoed that sentiment, saying “It’s been a long journey so far, and I think all our hard work has finally paid off.”

Scanlon also praised the contributions of younger players and looked forward to capitalizing on the momentum created by the Eagles first state tournament berth since they won the state title in 2010. “We’ve got some young guys, we started a couple freshman tonight, we started a couple sophomores, so going forward, that’s a really good thing to have.”

Todd Arnhold
Grant Arnhold and Parker Jamison celebrate the Eagles’ first trip to state in seven years.

The Eagles now await their seed in the state tournament. Lakeville North, Stillwater, Wayzata, Duluth East, Mounds View, and Maple Grove have all clinched state tournament berths, and the winner of Prior Lake and Chanhassen will lock up the eighth and final spot in the tournament.

Quarterfinal games will be held on October 24-26 at Chisago Lakes High School, Farmington High School, Prior Lake High School, and St. Cloud State University. Semifinals will be played October 30th at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, and the state tournament will conclude at U.S. Bank Stadium on November 2nd.

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