There was a silver lining in Thursday’s Class AA championship match. Even though the Burnsville girls soccer team lost a heartbreaking 2-1, shootout matchup with Wayzata for the state title, the Blaze left the Metrodome with their heads held high.
Burnsville, playing in its first state tournament since 1996, realized it has the ability to reach its state championship goals.
“We really wanted it and we tried our hardest; in the end it didn’t work out,” sophomore Alyssa Blahnik said after the 4-3 shootout loss. “But we’ll be back.”
Blahnik was a major factor all game long. The forward zig-zagged her way through the Trojans defense for much of the night, and it was her breakaway goal at 43:57 that soared over Wayzata goalkeeper Mara Dougherty’s head that broke a scoreless tie to give Burnsville a 1-0 lead.
Blahnik said she felt an opening and went for it. For Trojans coach Tony Peszneker, it was validation to just how dangerous Blahnik was on the field.
“Every time Alyssa got the ball, it looked like there was an opportunity,” he said.
But in the 58th minute, Wayzata (18-2-2) struck back. The Trojans knotted the score at 1-1 thanks to Kiana Nickel’s header.
Wayzata came out on top in the shootout. After both teams went 3-for-5 in the first five rounds, Burnsville’s (17-5-0) shot sailed high and hit the crossbar. Trojans senior Chelsey Ulrich’s shot beat Blaze goalkeeper Meghann Rudolph—who maded 11 saves on the night—to secure the win.
Blahnik said the experience will help pave the way for the future.
“It was just a really great experience for us all,” Blahnik said. “It was really good to be here, even if it didn’t end the way we want it to.”
GAME SCORING SUMMARY
2. 43:57 BURNS Alyssa Blahnik (Hannah Keirstead)
- 58:12 WAY Kiana Nickel (Maddie Eklin)
SO WAY Chelsey Ulrich
BURNSVILLE ALL-STATE SELECTIONS
Alyssa Nickel (midfielder)
Meghann Rudolph (goalkeeper)
Tiana Khamvongsa (midfielder)
Hannah Freden (defender)