Benilde St. Margaret’s Completes Perfect 2022, Caps Six Loss Run Since 2017

Benilde St. Marget’s completed a perfect season in 2022 with an overtime victory over Prior Lake.

The schools have met in the last four state title games. Prior Lake won in 2018 and 2019. Benilde won the last two.

It is a towering achievement by both programs to return to the state title four years in a row and likely would be five years in a row had the pandemic not derailed the world.

Most programs will never win a state title.

Fewer will win back to back titles.

Fewer will appear in four straight.

Benilde has appeared in five straight dating back to 2017.

Benilde has lost just four games in 2018.

Two years in a row, they took a perfect record into the state final before losing to Prior Lake.

Last season, they lost to Chanhassen in overtime in the regular season. They won their next game 7-5 over Bloomington Jefferson then boat raced the competition culminating in 16-6 state title victory over the Lakers.

A 9-8 regular season overtime win against Prior Lake set up a state title rematch which was going the Red Knights way before they needed a late goal to tie the game. They eventually won the title in overtime.

Here’s where the numbers get really scary.

Defensive coordinator Chaun Klemetsrud has built an impenetrable fortress around the Red Knight goal.

The 2018 team didn’t allow double digit goals until the state title game. They had two shutouts and three games allowing only 2 goals.

The 2019 team allowed a season high 8 goals. They allowed 5 in the state title.

The 2021 team gave up double digits only once, the aforementioned 11-10 overtime loss to Chanhassen. They allowed 2 goals or less in five games.

This year’s group didn’t allow double digits until the state semi final. Along the way, they gave up 2 or less goals seven times.

What’s the key to beating Benilde? Since 2018, Benilde has surrounded double digit goals three times. They are 1-2 in those games.

Their cumulative record is 71-3.

If you’re Benilde, the future somehow still looks remarkably bright.

Carsen Brandt (Marquette) and Brad Little (Colorado College) return on the offensive side of the ball. 2023 High Point commit Caio Stephens will be tasked with leading a defense that graduates Justin Dalum (Cleveland State), Sam Pikul (Catholic), and George Mobraaten (Carthage).

It will be difficult to bet against the Knights in 2023.

After all, the last time Benilde lost more than one game in a season was 2017.

They finished with a 16-3 record and lost in the state title game. They gave up double digit goals in all three games.

Head coach Rob Horn’s offense puts an immeasurable amount of pressure on your personnel to outscore Coach Klemestrud’s defense.

If you can score more than 9 goals against Benilde, you’re giving yourself a chance.

It is only happened six times since 2017. Easier said than done.

Historical defensive dominance.

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