BY ROB LAPLANTE
It took 100 minutes and a shootout for the St. Michael-Albertville boys’ soccer team to fall 1-0 to the Anoka Tornadoes.
In a rematch of last year’s Section 8AA championship game, the No. 6 seeded Tornadoes outscored the No. 3 seeded Knights 4-2 in the shootout.
Senior’s Justin McLain and Kevin Daleiden scored the shootout goals for STMA, but Anoka goalkeeper Matt Collins made two key saves and the Tornadoes scored on all four attempts taken on STMA junior goalie Sammy Guillou.
“Our goal was state and we didn’t get that. We’re pretty heartbroken,” said a dejected Guillou afterwards. “I was hoping our forwards could get something going and get one in. The shootout didn’t turn out the way I wanted, but what can you do.”
Guillou failed to make a shootout save, but he played well, making 10 saves in regulation as well as 20 minutes of the overtime.
“We’ve practiced the shootouts a lot,” said head coach Darek Dewey. “It’s sort of a momentum thing and a 50-50 deal.”
Anoka used freshman Blake Newman the entire game to shadow and follow STMA’s leading goal scorer Justin McLain. Despite getting four shots on goal, McLain couldn’t find the back of the net.
“They kind of did that last year when we played them too,” Dewey said. “Their pressure was really good all night. I thought they outplayed us a bit in the game and they were probably the better team.”
STMA finished the season with an overall record of 10-4-3 and won its second straight Mississippi 8 conference title with a 7-1-1 record.
“We lost in a shootout, but if you look, we haven’t lost a game in regulation in 11 games,” Dewey said. “We finished the season strong, but we had a tough section and we knew it.”