Boys' soccer: Two shutouts propel Royals to section championship
The Woodbury boys' soccer team had not advanced out of the section quarterfinals in years and head coach Joe Quintavalle said doing that was this year's goal, no matter who the Royals played.
The Royals achieved that goal and then some as they shut out Hastings 8-0 on Tuesday, Oct. 10, and then edged crosstown rival East Ridge 1-0 on Thursday, Oct. 12, to advance to the section finals against top-seeded Stillwater.
Woodbury jumped on the sixth-seeded Hastings Raiders right away, scoring three goals in the beginning of the first half and then extended that lead in the final minutes of the half.
Senior forward Ryker Mischo put in a goal off of a deflected shot by the Hastings goalkeeper with just under seven minutes left. Then junior defenseman Josh Miller was fouled inside the penalty area and converted the penalty kick to give the Royals a 5-0 lead heading into halftime.
Quintavalle said that Hastings was unable to keep up with the speed Woodbury has at forward, especially Mischo who routinely got behind the Raider defense and had three goals for the game.
Woodbury was never really tested on the defensive end after the start of the first half when Hastings created two decent goal chances. The Raiders turned the ball over too much and did not seem to find a rhythm to routinely attack the Royals' defense.
The Royals scored three more goals in the second half as Hastings pressed to get on the board and went on to win 8-0. They then carried that momentum into Thursday's match against rival East Ridge and came away with a 1-0 victory after scoring in the first half.
Woodbury faces No. 1-seed Stillwater, who finished the regular season ranked second in Class 2A, on Tuesday, Oct.17, at Stillwater. The winner advances to the state tournament and plays in a quarterfinal match either Tuesday or Thursday, Oct. 24 or 26, at sites to be determined. Semifinal, third-place and championship matches will be played at U.S. Bank Stadium on Monday, Oct. 30; Tuesday, Oct. 31; and Thursday, Nov. 2.