Rob St. Clair has been coaching soccer for years, but had never seen a goal like it.
“Our guy was clearing the ball in front of the net, like he’s suppose to do,” said St. Clair. “After hammering the clear right into their guy, the ricochet found the corner of the net.
“He couldn’t have placed it any better,” he added.
A couple minutes later, and barely three minutes into the game, Edina would score off a corner kick.
At halftime, the Hornets led 3-0.
“They’re a legit No. 1 team in the state,” said St. Clair. “They took it to us.”
Eden Prairie didn’t quit, however, and second-half goals by Kevin Rojas and Tyler Beaupre cut the Hornets’ lead to 3-2.
“Carver (Carver Magnani) had a great chance to tie the game on a free kick,” said St. Clair, “but their goalie made a great save. It (Magnani’s shot) looked like it was labeled for the upper corner.”
Final score: Edina 3, Eden Prairie 2.
Eden Prairie opened Lake play on Tuesday, Sept. 3, the first day of school, with an away match at Buffalo.
The Eagles won 6-0.
Beaupre and Abdul Mohamed scored two goals apiece. Luke Hernandez and Cole Nelson scored lone goals.
Note: The bus ride from Eden Prairie to Buffalo was said to last 50 minutes.
On Saturday, Eden Prairie bounced back from Thursday’s loss to Edina with a 5-2 win over Saint Michael-Albertville.
“The best we’ve played all year,” said St. Clair.
Eden Prairie counted goals from five different players – Beaupre, Luke Hernandez, Mohamed, Jose Blanco and Danny Hernandez.
“We played with confidence,” said St. Clair, “and the goals were beautiful.”
When asked about style of play, the coach said his Eagles want to play fast.
“We want the ball to do the work,” he said. “On some nights, that’s harder to do than others.”
Thursday’s game against Edina was one of those nights.
“Those are learning lessons,” said the coach. “The guys took what they learned on Thursday and applied it Saturday. For a young team, that’s impressive.”
“We went 2-1 in the Lake last week,” added St. Clair. “We’ll take it.”
Saturday’s win improved Eden Prairie’s overall record to 4-1-1.
On Tuesday, Eden Prairie was scheduled to host No. 2-ranked Minnetonka. Thursday (today), Eden Prairie plays Hopkins. Saturday, the Eagles host No. 6-ranked Wayzata.
“It’s the Lake,” laughed St. Clair, “and there’s no where to hide.”