A major fracas broke out at a heated Minnesota high school soccer game, leaving both teams embroiled in a fight involving nearly the entirety of both benches throwing haymakers and the winner -- who earned a postseason spot with the victory -- facing a potentially suspension-shortened squad come the postseason.
As reported by the Minneapolis-St. Paul NBC affiliate KARE and a variety of other Twin Cities outlets, a regular-season boys soccer finale between traditional rivals Minneapolis (Minn.) Prairie Seeds Academy and Totino (Minn.) Grace High devolved into a nasty brawl immediately after Prairie Seeds held off Grace for a 2-1 victory. With television crews on site, police in Maple Grove, Minn., are now investigating the incident with a view toward pursuing potential charges against those involved.
Video review appears to show that the skirmishes began when a Grace player pushed a Prairie Seeds player who began celebrating at the final whistle, apparently out of frustration at the loss. That pushed player then reacted violently, spinning on the spot and throwing a massive punch at the player who pushed him.
From there the entire incident spiraled out of control, with both teams reacting aggressively and a variety of skirmishes unfolding between players for the two teams.
"I can tell you one thing, the game was a great soccer game," Totino Grace athletic director Mike Smith told KARE. "There were a lot of kids that worked really hard to get to that point. It's too bad the ending is what people want to talk about because the game was so good."
The game may have been a good one, but the fight was an epic one which could dramatically affect the oncoming state playoffs, depending on what Maple Grove police and the Minnesota State High School League determine was behind it.