FAIRMONT - The Fairmont 17U boys soccer team finished second in the Minnesota Youth Soccer Association State Tournament on July 25 after a 2-1 overtime loss to Fridley.
In the championship game against Fridley, both teams had their scoring opportunities, but couldn't capitalize in the first half to leave both teams scoreless at halftime.
"Throughout the season, Fridley only allowed nine goals in 11 games, and scored 47 goals. I thought it was going to be a close game no matter what," said Fairmont coach Nate Washa.
STATE RUNNERS-UP — Fairmont 17U soccer finished in second place after losing 2-1 to Fridley in the championship on July 25. Back Row (l to r): Coach Nate Washa, Coach Terry Fraser, Carter Welchlin, Lucas Miles, Brock?Johnson and Coach Alex Luhmann. Middle Row: Ben Mitchell, Brandon Jensen, Grant Becker, Joe Washa and Zac Ehlert. Front Row: Trason Arens, Robert Hamp, Matt Tennyson, Dan Simmering, Pete Nielsen, Kolin Kelly.
Fridley got on the board in the 60th minute of the game with a goal, making it 1-0.
Fairmont's Zac Ehlert scored during the final minutes of regulation to tie the game at 1-1, sending the game into overtime.
"We were so excited, there was such jubilation after we scored the goal. We felt awesome and raring to go into overtime," said Washa.
Despite the defensive effort by Fairmont, Fridley scored the game-winning goal during the final minute of the overtime period to make it 2-1.
"It was a good defensive game. It was a lot of back-and-forth play," said Washa. "I wish it could've gone to a shootout, but it was a good game."
Fairmont reached the championship after defeating Willmar 3-2 in a close first-round game and defeating St. Peter 7-1 in the second round.
Lucas Miles scored two Fairmont goals in the 3-2 victory over Willmar. Miles received assists from Joe Washa and Grant Becker on the first goal, with Carter Welchlin getting the assist on the second. The third Fairmont goal was an inadvertent goal scored by Willmar.
Willmar and Fairmont were knotted at 2-2 at halftime of the match-up.
"Willmar had beaten Fairmont the year before in the (Minnesota State High School League) playoffs. This year the players were really looking forward to getting some revenge," said Nate Washa.
With the 3-2 victory, Fairmont was able to move on to face St. Peter in the second round.
"St. Peter only had eight players in their game against us. Some of their players had made other committments," said Washa.
Joe Washa, Welchlin, Ben Mitchell, Brandon Jensen and Trason Arens each scored one Fairmont goal, while Becker netted two in the 7-1 victory to advance to the championship game.
"This group won the state championship at 15U and lost in the semifinals last year," said Nate Washa. "We felt like we owned the field whenever we played this season, and our all-around effort from defense to midfield to attackers was great."
Fairmont 17U finished its season with a 12-2-1 overall record, including 7-0-1 in league action.