KoMets shoot blanks at state

Kasson-Mantorville's Brooke Kollman and South St. Paul's Brooke Fischer collide trying to direct a ball with their heads in Friday night's quarterfinal game in Cottage Grove.

COTTAGE GROVE — Laurel Ramer had the type of high school soccer career that most kids dream about; five years on the varsity, 100 career goals, a trip to the state tournament, and a Ms. Soccer Minnesota award to boot.

But at the risk of seeming greedy, the Kasson-Mantorville senior wanted one more win.

"We definitely would have liked to go on," Ramer said, "but it's not the end of the world."

Ramer and her K-M teammates were denied an opportunity to play at the Metrodome with a season-ending 1-0 loss to favored South St. Paul in a Class A State quarterfinal game on a chilly Friday night at Park High School Stadium.

South St. Paul (14-4-2) advances to the semifinal round against No. 1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret's (19-0-1) at 8 a.m. Monday at the Metrodome. K-M finished with a 15-6-0 record.


South St. Paul, the No. 4 seed in the tournament, got an unassisted goal from freshman forward Hannah Marion from about 10 yards out with 18:52 left in the first half, and the Packers' defense made that lead stand.

South St. Paul limited K-M to six shots on goal and notched its fourth straight shut-out win in the playoffs, after outscoring three opponents 18-0 in the Section 4A tournament.

The Packers paid particular attention to Ramer, holding the University of Wyoming recruit to just a couple of scoring chances. Ramer scored 30 goals this season.

"It wasn't just (Ramer) we were focused on, it was their whole team, but we did try to stop passes from reaching her whenever possible," said South St. Paul head coach Rachel Mettille.

"They marked Laurel pretty tightly with number five," K-M coach Chris Soderberg said, referring to Packers sophomore Anna Barlow. "They were pretty physical with her. They were a physical team."

It was just the third shutout loss of the season for a K-M team that was averaging 3.5 goals per game and had reached the state tournament by outscoring four opponents 16-1 in the Section 1A tournament.

"I feel like we had a lot of through balls and a lot of chances to score, especially in the first half, but we they just weren't going in," said Ramer, one of just three seniors on K-M's roster.

South St. Paul broke a scoreless time 22 minutes into the game when Marion used some good foot work to elude a defender inside the box and scored on an easy roller into the left corner of the goal. K-M goalie Holly Hackenmiller was positioned toward the right sde of the goal and had no chance to make the save.


"I thought Holly played a great game; she made some nice saves to keep it a one-goal game," Soderberg said. Hackenmiller, a sophomore, finished with eight saves.

It was the 11th goal of the season for Marion, which is second on the Packers' team. South St. Paul, in the state tournament for a second straight year, has averaged 3.8 goals per game.

"Hannah definitely puts the speed in our attack," Mettille said. "That goal was mostly on her own, and it gave us the advantage we needed."

K-M had its best scoring opportunities in the first half, including a pair of mid-range blasts by Ramer that went over the goal. Packers goalie Alicia Sethre got a hand on the first one to deflect it. Ramer's second narrow miss came with just 37 seconds in the half and sailed high.

The KoMets' scoring chances were scarce in the second half as South St. Paul kept the ball pinned in K-M's end for most of the time.

"We got it down there for a little while and would get a shot or two, but we just couldn't keep it down in their end," Soderberg said.

K-m senior defender Bailey Griffin said it was a satisfying season despite the defeat. Soderberg said Griffin's improved play was a big key to the KoMets' success this season.

"I would have loved to play in the Dome, but we got this far and I don't think anyone was expecting that," said Griffin, who may attend the University of Minnesota-Duluth but is undecided about trying to play soccer there. "


We got K-M soccer to state for the first time, so that's something to be proud of."

South St. Paul 1, K-M 0


South St. Paul#1#0#--#1

Kasson-Mantorville: Goalie: Holly Hackenmiller 8 saves.

South St. Paul: Hannah Marion 1 goal. Goalie: Alicia Sethre 6 saves.

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