Each team has outstanding defense, each has an outstanding scorer.
In that intriguing state tournament matchup, Minneapolis Washburn prevailed over Centennial 1-0 in overtime on Wednesday evening.
Darley Florvil, recently named Metro Player of the Year by the Star-Tribune, finally settled the issue, after 87 scoreless minutes, at Chisago Lakes High School.
Florvil tipped a ball past Cougars goalkeeper Ricky Hemric, who had left the net, and slid the ball into the open net with 2:34 left in overtime. That was his 25th goal of the season.
“I kept running around, and put myself in good position,” said Florvil in the thick accent of his native Haiti. “I saw the goalie cheating, the goalie came out, and I finally got one in.”
Previously, he said, “I had a header in the second half, and a couple good shots, but just couldn’t get one in.”
Meanwhile, Demetrius Bernardy-Nelson, who had the same number of goals, 25, for Centennial, got few if any chances to score against the swarming Millers, who have allowed just 11 goals in 20 matches.
Had Centennial been able to find the net in regulation, it would have been their 13th shutout.
“Yup, pretty disappointing,” said coach Jeff Ottosen, grimly. Commenting on the defenses, he said neither side could get much going, “We had only three or four (chances) in the game.” That included one open shot the went just wide just before halftime.
In the first half, neither Florvil or any other Miller got anywhere near the net with the ball, but they stepped up pressure on Hemric in the second half. The goalie tipped away a couple of shots. The Millers had two shots hit the post and another sail just over the cross bar.
Centennial finished 17-3 with a first-round loss at state for the second straight season. Washburn advanced with a 16-3-1 record to the semifinals against top-seed Edina.