HARRISBURG — Jaiden Boomsma couldn’t believe it.
Her shot sailed into the back of the net.
The reaction on her face said it all: She was completely shocked. Her hands immediately went on her head.
“I was, definitely,” said Boomsma, the Yankton senior who will go down as the most accomplished player in program history.
Boomsma’s goal with 2:13 remaining sent the Gazelles past Aberdeen Central 1-0 in Saturday night’s Class AA state championship match in Harrisburg.
Yankton (15-0-2), which spent the entire season being chased by everyone else in their class, is bringing home the title.
And Boomsma’s goal in the 78th minute will go down in Yankton High School lore as the biggest play in program history.
She sprinted down the right side of the field and connected for a shot that sailed past the diving goalkeeper.
That set off Boomsma’s reaction of pure shock.
“Usually I don’t take those from outside the (box), but I just went for it,” said Boomsma, whose goal was the 49th of her career — most in program history.
“But yeah, I was definitely shocked it went in.”
Her goal also came at a point in a scoreless game where it looked like overtime was on the way.
“I saw an opportunity, and knew there wouldn’t be another one, so I just went for it,” Boomsma said.
The game still wasn’t over, though.
Aberdeen Central was awarded a free kick with 22 seconds remaining, but the shot sailed high above the goal, and the final seconds ticked away.
Then came the celebration for the Gazelles.
“It’s great,” head coach Tyler Schuring said. “They put in the work, and they’ve earned this.”
Yankton particularly worked hard after last season’s loss in the state tournament semifinals.
With no graduation losses, the Gazelles entered the 2019 season as one of the Class AA favorites, and the team with 10 seniors followed suit with an unbeaten run — and a second straight Eastern South Dakota Conference title.
There were also 12 shutouts along the way for a Yankton defense that was anchored by senior goalkeeper Sadie Fedders. Saturday was her 21st career shutout and she went two years without giving up more than one goal in a match.
Fedders was named the Defensive Player of the Game and Boomsma was named the Offensive Player of the Game.
Boomsma admitted to being shocked by her shot that went into the back of the net, but was her coach?
“I was excited, not necessarily shocked, because she’s a sharpshooter in those situations,” Schuring said.
The Gazelles were no doubt aided by a large crowd of fans behind them, as Boomsma pointed out later.
“Our crowd was amazing,” she said. “I don’t think I’ve ever seen a crowd like that. It was a great feeling.”
So too is winning a state championship.
A year after coming up short of their ultimate goal, the Gazelles climbed to the top of the mountain in 2019.
“This is incredible,” Boomsma said. “Our team has worked so hard for this and us as seniors, we’ve thought about this since last year.”
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