Boys soccer state tournament: Wayzata hands Woodbury another ‘cruel’ loss

For the second straight year, Wayzata kept Woodbury from winning its first state boys soccer crown.

It did so again in an unlikely way. And one round earlier.

Tyler Baker scored on a penalty kick at the end of the first overtime. and the Trojans will have a chance to defend their state title following a 3-2 win over the Royals in a Wednesday morning Class 3A semifinal in U.S. Bank Stadium.

“It can be a cruel game,” Woodbury coach John Engen said.

In the 2022 championship game, Wayzata tied the score in the final two minutes of regulation, then won 3-2 on a ricochet off a Woodbury defender early in overtime.

This year, Lassi Koivukangas was pulled down by a Royals’ defender in the penalty box. Scoreboards in the stadium hit triple zeroes, but it was ruled the infraction occurred with one second remaining in the extra session.

“Lassi created that scoring chance. He would have had a shot on goal, and they denied him that. We thought it was a penalty kick for sure,” Wayzata coach Dominic Duenas said.

“I know the referee personally, he’s a good guy and he does a good job, but it’s tough,” Engen said.

Baker hadn’t scored all year, but Duenas had no qualms about putting the game on the senior’s foot.

“We’ve got 10 guys that we like in case we ever do get to a shootout, and Tyler has been really consistent striking them really well, along with Gunnar (Hendrickson), so Tyler’s the guy right now.”

“Coach told me a couple games ago if there was a PK in the game I was gonna take it,” Baker said. “… It’s going to be a memory that I’ll have in my mind forever.”

Hendrickson, who scored the second Trojans goal, was “99 percent sure” Baker would end the game.

“I was 100 percent,” Duenas quickly quipped.

Wayzata (19-0-2), the top seed, will face No. 2 Maple Grove or unseeded Park in Friday’s 8 a.m. championship match back at U.S. Bank Stadium. Woodbury (13-4-3) will play for third place on Thursday.

Hendrickson tied the score 2-2 in the 51st minute for Wayzata, converting a long pass by scoring between a pair of defenders from about 10 yards out.

“At halftime momentum kind of shifted to Woodbury,” Duenas said. “We talked about what we’ve talked about since the beginning of the year, and that’s belief. Guys did that. We went down, they had the belief to keep coming back.”

Early in the second half, a centering attempt went off the hand of a Wayzata defender in the box. Awarded a penalty kick, Olin Franzwa drilled the ball into the lower right corner for a 2-1 Royals lead.

It was Woodbury’s second goal in less than four minutes of action; Zach Sorenson converted off a corner kick with 23 seconds left in the first half to make it 1-1.

Charlie Piller scored for Wayzata in the 23rd minute.

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