Bishop Miege sophomore Elena Eckwall was beaming after the Stags won their second consecutive Class 4-1A girls soccer title Saturday.
She had reason to be.
Eckwall scored the game’s only goal, and Miege (13-7-1) fought off challenges from Thomas More Prep-Marian (14-5-1) — including a spot kick and a breakaway that was halted in the second half — for a 1 -0 victory.
“I just really wanted to score, because I really thought we needed to finish,” Eckwall said. “So, I just took it in on my strong foot and hit it as hard as I could.”
Miege coach Nate Huppe said the title came despite heavy graduation losses.
“They’re always fun,” he said. “They’re always rewarding. (Saturday) we had to work for it. TMP (making its first appearance at state) was awesome. Their girls just played incredibly hard.”
Eckwall said she was confident that her goal would be enough.
“I trusted my team to defend the rest of the game and keep the score 1-0,” she said.
Eckwall played on last year’s state title team as a freshman.
“It feels pretty good,” she said.
On the goal, which came at the 37:27 mark, Eckwall scored off a pass from senior captain Merritt Vaughn. Vaughn said this is it for her in soccer, and she said it was a fitting way for her career to end.
“It’s like the best way (for things to end), and after losing the first two years, it made it a lot better,” Vaughn said. “It’s the best way to go out, going out on top.
“They’ll be back next year, I’m sure.”