SUN Sailor Editions Excelsior/Shorewood - Page 15 Excelsior • Shorewood Thursday, Nov. 1, 2018 • Page 15 Shootout serendipity for Minnetonka girls soccer team By JOHN SHERMAN Minnetonka needed a shootout to eliminate Maple Grove 2-1 in a well- played fi rst-round State Class AA Tournament soccer game Oct. 23 at Prior Lake High School. Riley Brackin scored in regulation for Minneton- ka, and Maple Grove’s Kelley Kloncz answered the bell late in the second half to force overtime. After 20 minutes of overtime, the score re- mained 1-1, so the teams went to a shootout to settle the outcome. Each team made its fi rst four penalty kicks, so it came down to the fi fth spot in the rotation. Cap- tain Grace Weisman made hers for the Skippers, and Minnetonka goalkeeper Paige Kahlmeyer stopped Maple Grove’s last shot for the victory. “It was a fun, exciting game,” said Minnetonka head coach Jeff Hopkins. “We had the better op- portunities in the fi rst half, when we held Maple Grove to one shot on goal. They had the better of the run in the second half.” Coach Hopkins was pleased with how his girls were prepared for the shootout. They had practiced penalty kicks all season, and they even pre- sented the coach with the order they wanted. Brackin was the lead-off kicker, followed by Lissa Mizutani, Emilia Johnson, Olivia Graupmann and, fi - nally, Weisman. Graupmann, the Skip- pers’ alternate goalie, might have been the Oc- tober surprise to Min- netonka fans. Who ever heard of a goalie taking a penalty kick? “Olivia is a great ball striker,” said coach Hop- kins. “The girls all wanted her in the shootout.” Penalty kicks are very tough for high school goal- ies to stop, but Kahlmeyer made the best memory of her high school career by guessing right on Maple Grove’s fi nal kick, which was taken by an All-State player. “Paige didn’t dive on (PHOTO BY MARK TROCKMAN - TROCKSTOCK.COM) Minnetonka High girls soccer goalie Paige Kahlmeyer saves a penalty kick to give the Skippers win a 2-1 state tournament decision over Maple Grove. the other four kicks, but she dove on that one,” said coach Hopkins. “It was a great save, a catch- you-breath moment in the season. Maple Grove is a great team, a team that played in the state champi- onship game last season.” As this edition went to press on Tuesday, Oct. 30, Minnetonka was playing defending state Class AA champion Eagan in the state semifi nals at U.S. at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 2, at Bank Stadium, the home U.S. Bank Stadium. of the Minnesota Vikings. Minnetonka entered the Follow the Sun sports writers on Twitter at MNSunSports and on semifi nals with a 14-4-1 Facebook at overall mark. The state SunSportsStaff. title game will be played Tonka volleyball team thumps Chaska in fi rst section test Skippers win 3 straight games Every good hitter needs a good setter, and the Skip- pers have that component with senior co-captain Dresden Pass. “Great volleyball play- ers elevate the level of their teammates,” said Katzenberger. “And Dres- den is one of those great players. If someone on our team doesn’t have the best fi rst contact, she still makes it set-able.” With the win over Chaska, Minnetonka (23- 4) advanced to play Prior Lake (14-15) in the section semifi nals, which were in progress Tuesday, Oct. 30, when this edition went to press. The winner of the Minnetonka-Prior Lake match has a date in the fi - nals against the winner of the Shakopee-New Prague match on Saturday, Nov. 3. The time and location for that match were not known at press time. By JOHN SHERMAN Minnetonka’s quest for a Section 2AAA girls vol- leyball title began with a sweep of Chaska Oct. 25 at Minnetonka High’s West Gym. The Skippers were never in jeopardy, winning the match, 25-17, 25-16, 25-19. “We defended well,” said Minnetonka head coach Karl Katzenberger. “And that’s a credit to all of our kids. They defended their positions well.” Head digger Drew McDougall sparked the back-row defense for the Skippers, while up front a number of Tonka play- ers supplied key blocks to thwart Chaska rallies. “Drew is one of the best defensive players in the state,” said Katzenberger. “We can never take her for granted.” Meanwhile, on the of- fensive side, Erin Shoe- maker and Skyler Ger- mann continued to hit winners. “We need Erin and Sky- (PHOTO BY MARK TROCKMAN - TROCKSTOCK.COM) Minnetonka co-captain Dresden Pass, blocking above, is the setter who keeps things humming for the Skipper volleyball squad. ler to produce in order for us to be successful,” said Katzenberger. “But we have some other capable hitters. Claire Sester does Katzenberger added a good job hitting in the that sophomore Kali middle and Alison Sun- Engeman is improving dem is on the right side.” steadily as a middle hitter. The Royals defeated Benilde-St. Margaret’s in three straight games Oct. 25. The scores were 25-17, 29-27, 25-24. With the win in the second game, Hopkins gained the momentum it needed to put the Red Knights away. Hopkins’ balance over- came a strong effort from BSM’s Maizy Jackson, who was prominent in the match with 15 kills. Although the Royals are young this season, they still have a great tradi- tion in the program under head coach Vicki Swen- son. There were three up- sets, including Hopkins’ win over BSM, in the fi rst round of section play. Armstrong, the sixth seed, won in the fi rst round and was scheduled to play Hopkins in one semifi nal match on Tuesday, Oct. 30. St. Louis Park, the fi fth seed, won in the fi rst round, as well, and was Hopkins Girls slated to play No. 1-seed- Hopkins High’s girls ed Edina on Tuesday, the volleyball team went into 30th in the other semifi nal. the Section 6AAA tour- ney as the No. 7 seed, but Follow the Sun sports writers on Twitter at MNSunSports and on quickly advanced to the Facebook at semifi nals with a win in SunSportsStaff. the fi rst round.