Saturday, October 20, 2012

Championship soccer match breaks into on-field brawl

According to "Maple Grove Police are investigating an on-the-field brawl that broke out Thursday night in the final seconds of a high school soccer game.

The soccer section championship between Totino-Grace and Prairie Seeds Academy was supposed to determine who would advance to the state tournament, but now an end of the game fight involving multiple players puts into question whether all of the Prairie Seeds players will be able to advance to the state tournament.

Channel 12 Sports video of the game at Maple Grove's High School stadium shows multiple punches thrown between opposing teammates after Prairie Seeds Academy's 2-1 victory. The video also shows Totino-Grace's soccer coach getting a punch to the head by the Prairie Seeds Academy goalie as the coach tried to separate the feuding players.

At least one Totino-Grace player was injured in the fight and required stitches. Maple Grove Police Captain Keith Terlinden says it's too early to tell whether criminal charges will result.

"It's an active investigation, we're still trying to get all the facts surrounding it" said Terlinden. "Depending on the severity of the injuries is depending on what we would charge."

In a statement late Friday afternoon, the Minnesota State High School League said it has initiated its own investigation of the incidents and hopes to reach a conclusion on Monday.

Totino-Grace Athletic Director Mike Smith said Friday the whole point of the championship game is now unfortunately overshadowed by the end of the game brawl.

"These are teams that are very talented, they've worked really hard, they played a great competitive game, and unfortunately, right now, nobody is talking about that part," said Smith."

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