Wayzata Boys Soccer Rallies Past Woodbury to Win State Title

Top-seeded Wayzata used a late-game surge to score two goals, one in regulation time and another in an extra session, to prove worthy of their top billing in the Minnesota State High School League’s Boys Soccer State Tournament. 

Senior forward Joe Highfield was credited with the clinching goal with 5:38 left in the first overtime to give the Trojans a 3-2 victory over No. 3 Woodbury in the Class AAA championship game on Friday, Nov. 4 at U.S. Bank Stadium in downtown Minneapolis. 

The Trojans (19-1-2) celebrated its first big-school state title since 2017 on a dazzling play that was engineered by Highfield. He got loose on the near side and found himself in a breakaway situation. He eyed the right side of Woodbury junior goalkeeper Eddie Puglisi. He made a nifty save with his right foot, but the ball caromed off a Woodbury teammate and bounced stunningly into the goal. 

It was Wayzata’s second championship since 2009. The other three appearances resulted in runner-up finishes. 

The Trojans appeared headed for another runner-up finish before senior defender Joe Burica scored the equalizer with 1:42 left in regulation time. 

In the first half, Woodbury built a 2-1 advantage behind two goals from sophomore midfielder Olin Franzwa. His second goal gave the Royals a one-goal edge at the break. Ten minutes earlier, Wayzata senior defender Tarun Gorripati scored after dribbling around a defender. 

Woodbury was seeking its first championship in boys soccer. In 2005, the Royals were runner-up to Wayzata as well.

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