SPA boys' soccer team capped off another remarkable postseason in championship fashion, winning the Class 1A Minnesota State title in a come-from-behind 3-2 victory against Pine Island/Zumbrota Mazeppa on Friday, November 3, 2023 at U.S. Bank Stadium. This is the Spartans' second straight title, the program's sixth championship overall and the first time the team has won back-to-back titles since the 1986-87 seasons.
"We really didn’t want this season to end, and I think this was the best way to go out," says senior and captain Cooper Olson '24 who was quoted in the Pioneer Press's recap of the championship game. "The fact that I get to do it with these guys next to me is an unreal experience." Read the Pioneer Press article.
The road to the State championship was built on the Spartans' disciplined offense and aggressive defense, which were on display throughout the entire postseason. The team never surrendered a goal through section play, outscoring their opponents 7-0, and posting three consecutive shutouts. Seeded #2 in Section 3A, the team sailed through the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds, defeating St. Croix Lutheran 2-0 in the quarterfinals and St. Agnes 3-0 in the semifinals and earning the right to face off against IMAC rival Minnehaha Academy for the second-straight year for a trip to State. The Spartans 2-0 victory in the Section final represented both their ticket to State and their second victory over the Redhawks this season.
With the #3 seed at State, the Spartans defeated unseeded St. Paul Washington Technology Magnet 2-1 in the quarterfinal round and upset the #2 seeded Holy Family Fire 2-1 in the semifinals, setting up a showdown against the #4 seed Pine Island/Zumbrota-Mazeppa in the championship game. In the championship game, SPA entered the second half trailing 1-0 but got the offense going early in the second half, tying the game 1-1 with a goal from Liam Sullivan '25 and then taking the lead shortly after with a penalty kick from Orion Kim '24. Not long after, Awaale Osman '24 put the game out of reach scoring with just over five minutes left to play and giving SPA the 3-2 victory to claim the match and once again the Class 1A title.
MSHSL All-Tournament Team: Orion Kim ‘24, Cooper Olson ‘24, Awaale Osman ‘24 and Ezra Straub ‘25
Mr. Soccer Class A: Cooper Olson ‘24
All-State: Orion Kim ‘24, Cooper Olson ‘24, Awaale Osman ‘24 and Ezra Straub ‘25
All-Conference: Orion Kim ‘24, Cooper Olson ‘24, Awaale Osman ‘24, Ezra Straub ‘25 and Arlo Zirps ‘25
All-Conference Honorable Mention: Carson Granberg ‘25 and Lucas Granja ‘25