Skip to main content

DeLaSalle boys soccer scores late equalizer, defeats Hill-Murray in Class 2A final

The Islanders conceded in the 78th minute but equalized in the final thirty second

MINNEAPOLIS — Stiven Muellner stood behind the ball for a free kick just outside the right side of the Hill-Murray box. Thirty seven seconds remained in regulation, and the DeLaSalle Islanders had just allowed the Hill-Murray Pioneers to take a 2-1 lead in the Class 2A state championship game.

He crossed the ball into the box, where every Hill-Murray player was back to defend, and all but Muellner and the DeLaSalle goalkeeper were as well. Yet nobody touched the ball. Despite it bending away from the goal, it flew to the opposite top corner and forced the game into extra time and eventually penalties.

DeLaSalle’s Ryan Marcatoma booted the ball into the top of the net on the final penalty.

“I was pretty confident,” Marcatoma said. “I just wanted to win this for the team and past classes.”

So after saving its season with 30 seconds left, the Islanders (15-5-1) defeated previously undefeated Hill-Murray 5-4 in a penalty shootout for a final score of 3-2 in the Class 2A state final, the first in school history.

“I could not be any more excited for them,” DeLaSalle head coach Eli Baker said.

Hill-Murray's Jacob Dinzeo scored the first goal of the game from a shot outside the box in the 30th minute, and DeLaSalle responded with a penalty kick from Keokolo Sena in the 38th minute.

Almost an entire second half went by before someone scored. Both teams battled for possession, and Hill-Murray broke through in the 78th minute when Taylor Patrich lofted a ball over the Islander back line to Jeronimo Laklia, who beat the Islander keeper to give the Pioneers the 2-1.

The DeLaSalle Islanders did not quit despite going down so late in the game.

Read More

“Sometimes it even kicks me into gear,” senior Sam Sullivan said. “I focus even more. I just had everything to fight for.”

So when Muellner’s free kick when in, it was DeLaSalle’s turn to focus for extra time.

“Our coach always tells us to ride the adrenalin, but don’t let it take us over,” Peter Scholtz said. “We used that energy to pump us up more. We don’t want it to take us over, make us too risky and then make mistakes.”

For the Islanders, their first state title did not come easy.

“It doesn’t feel real,” Truman Atkinson said.

Hill-Murray’s remarkable season

The Pioneers were looking for their own first state title in school history. They had all the making of a championship team after reaching the title game without a loss.

“I wouldn’t want to lose with any other group of people,” Dinzeo said. “Going 21 games without losing, you’re almost destined to have a flaw in the season. Sadly, for us it came in the state final.”

Hill-Murray’s season comes with more than just results on the field, but many experiences off it, from yoga to team camping trips.

“Those are the memories that you take away,” Jeff Zupfer said. “It stings today. You want to go undefeated. It would be an amazing story, but I think it’s the stuff that you do away from the field, that people don’t see, that are special and the moments and the memories.”