The Worthington Trojans boys soccer team is headed back to the state Class AA tournament for the third straight year, and they once again went to a penalty kick shootout to claim their win.
Kaleb Knothe, who had a huge save in last Thursday’s shootout against Mound-Westonka, came through not once, not twice, but three times in Tuesday’s penalty kick session as the Trojans took the shootout 3-1 to edge Mankato East by a final score of 2-1 in New Prague.
Third-seeded Mankato East scored just shy of the 18-minute mark of the first half, and that goal for the Cougars stood up for nearly all of regulation. Top-seeded WHS, though, stayed alive when Jonathan Banegas booted home a shot with just 1:06 to go to tie the score and send the match into extra time.
Neither the Trojans nor Cougars scored over the course of two 10-minute overtime periods, setting the stage for the penalty kick shootout. After WHS missed its first attempt, Knothe dove for his initial save of the shootout. Carlos Castillo then knocked his shot home, and Knothe followed with another save.
Maqui Sandoval took the Trojans' third shot and made it, and this time the Cougars answered. The fourth Worthington penalty shot was missed, but Knothe then dove for another save to preserve the lead. That set the stage for Hugo Garcia, who converted his penalty kick to win the match.
Worthington is now 17-2 on the season and will learn of its seeding at state in the coming days.
In high school volleyball action Tuesday night, it was Worthington edging Mankato East 3-2. Game scores were 25-20, 23-25, 23-25, 27-25, 16-14.
Madison Beckmann topped the Trojan hitters with 20 kills and added a pair of blocks. Madeline Peterson and Abryona Erwin each contributed three ace serves. Addison Gerber passed for 39 set assists, led Worthington in digs with 20 and also had a pair of ace serves. Jayden Spartz also chipped in with 17 kills and 14 digs for WHS, now 12-15 overall.
It was host Marshall capturing the Big South Conference boys cross country meet Tuesday, as the Tigers came in with a total of 26 points. Redwood Valley was second and was followed in team order by Luverne, Worthington, St. James Area and Windom Area.
The Trojans’ Fanuel Wolday was second among individuals with a time of 16:00.54. Marshall’s Josh Leibfried and Sam Deutz were fourth and fifth, respectively, to lead Marshall.
Also for Worthington, Asrat Bonnett was 17th and Austin Kinser 18th. Isaac Kinser was next for the Trojans in 34th.
In the girls competition, Marshall won with a team total of 24 points. Luverne came in fourth, Jackson County Central sixth, Pipestone Area seventh, Fairmont eighth and Worthington ninth.
Luverne’s Jenna DeBates was the top individual finisher at 18:07.25. Marshall had four of its runners place in the top eight.
For the Trojans, Madison Sieve was the top finisher with a clocking of 22:08.63. Kenadie Thiner was next at 23:39.84.
In area high school volleyball Tuesday night, it was:
Tracy-Milroy-Balaton 3, Lac Qui Parle Valley 0
Edgerton 3, Madelia 0
Westbrook-Walnut Grove 3, Red Rock Central 0
Heron Lake-Okabena/Fulda 3, Pipestone Area 0
ML-GHEC-T 3, Fairmont 0
Luverne 3, Hills-Beaver Creek 0
Marshall 3, St. Peter 0
Western Christian 3, Sheldon 0
West Lyon 3, Spirit Lake 0
MOC-Floyd Valley 3, Okoboji 0