Blaze girls soccer to play for state title

by Andy Rogers
Thisweek Newspapers

The Burnsville girls soccer team was all over Centennial winning 5-2 on Monday at the Metrodome in Minneapolis in the Class AA state semifinals.

Members of the Burnsville girls soccer team celebrate its win at the state tournament on Monday. Photo by Rick Orndorf

The Blaze will  now play Wayzata at 5:30 p.m. Thursday at the Metrodome for the state title. It’s the first state final game for Burnsville since 1993.

Based on the way Burnsville played against Centennial, coach John Soderholm likes their chances. Playing on the stage of the Metrodome at state can be a little daunting.

“Our first eight, nine minutes I think we were a little nervous,” Soderholm said. “This was a wonderful way to do it. We’re happy. I think (Centennial) is a little better than the score. We knew we could do it. We kept the ball on the ground and passed it around. We’re playing really well right now.”

In the first 20 minutes, Centennial had three shots and two corner kicks, but couldn’t get anything through.

Alyssa Blahnik, Burnsville’s leading scorer provided the offensive punch the Blaze needed with three goals.

“We just really came together,” Blahnik said. “We were finding each other and passing it around. And our defense really stepped it up.”

About 20 minutes into the game she smashed the ball past the Centennial keeper for her first of three goals and she headed the ball in for a goal less than a minute later. Both were assisted by Abby Soderholm.

Blahnik set up Tiana Khamvongsa for the team’s third goal and they reversed roles for the team’s fourth to take a 4-1 halftime lead.

Blahnik found Abby Soderholm behind the goalkeeper in the second half for the team’s fifth goal.

Burnsville keeper Meghann Rudolph had three saves.

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