The Blake School girls, Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys to defend titles;
Three of eight qualified teams making inaugural appearances
The Minnesota State High School League will conduct its fifth lacrosse tournament for girls and boys June 7-10. The Blake School girls will defend their title and earned the No. 1 seed for the fifth year in a row. The Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys will defend their title and earned the No. 1 seed. Three of the eight tournament teams are making first tournament appearances.
The boys’ semifinals will be played at Chanhassen High School on Tuesday, June 7. The Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights earned the No. 1 seed and are seeking their third title. In the coaches’ association final rankings, Benilde-St. Margaret’s was No. 1, Eden Prairie was No. 3, and neither Burnsville nor White Bear Lake Area were ranked.
No. 1 Seed – Benilde-St. Margaret’s, St. Louis Park (16-0) vs. No. 4 Seed – Burnsville (11-6) at 6:00 p.m. The Red Knights are making their third tournament appearance. They won the inaugural state tournament in 2007 and last year’s tournament in which they lowered their previous record for fewest goals allowed in the tournament from 11 to 7. Junior attacker Will Hoesley leads the team with 76 points on 63 goals and 13 assists. Junior attacker Christian Horn has 56 points on 34 goals and 22 assists. Senior attacker Taylor Topousis, who is committed to play D-I lacrosse for Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire., has 48 points on 28 goals and 20 assists. Senior midfielder Peter Schubloom has 38 points on 8 goals and 30 assists. Junior goaltender Thomas Gilligan (58 goals allowed in 16 games) has 94 saves on the season. Burnsville’s inaugural tournament appearance was assured with a 13-11 section final win over Eagan which finished third in 2010. The Blaze have won their last seven games, including the defeat of three teams that beat them during the regular season. Senior attacker Jace Childs leads the team with 41 points on 30 goals and 11 assists. Senior attacker Neal Pester added 37 points on 18 goals and 19 assists. Senior attacker Bohdi Engum also has 37 points on 27 goals and 10 assists. Senior midfielder Brian Atkinson has 33 points on 18 goals and 15 assists. Junior Kyle Perisic has the most minutes in goal and has turned away 146 shots on goal. Benilde-St. Margaret’s defeated Burnsville 15-5 to open the regular season on April 14 and also defeated Eden Prairie 10-6 on April 25. Burnsville did not play any other tournament qualifiers other than Benilde-St. Margaret’s.
No. 2 Seed – Eden Prairie (14-2) vs. No. 3 Seed – White Bear Lake Area (12-4) at 8:00 p.m. The Eagles of Eden Prairie are making their third tournament appearance, having finished as runners-up in 2007 and 2008. In addition to their 10-6 loss to Benilde-St. Margaret’s on April 25, the Eagles’ only other loss was to Breck School of Golden Valley, 7-6 on May 3. Eden Prairie averages 12.68 goals per game while holding opponents to only 4.69. Senior attacker Matt Hugdahl leads the offense with 48 points on 30 goals and 18 assists. Senior midfielder Mitch Hugdahl, Matt’s twin brother, and senior attacker Davis Snyder each have 47 points on the season; Hugdahl on 28 goals and 19 assists and Snyder on 26 goals and 21 assists. Sophomore midfielder Jake Woodring has a team-leading 33 goals and added 5 assists. Senior Jared Klapperich has the most minutes in goal and has 126 saves. White Bear Lake Area, which is making its second tournament appearance, having finished fourth in 2008, has not played any other tournament qualifiers. Senior attacker Brady Haider leads the offense with 36 goals and 8 assists. Sophomore attacker Ted Ramert added 18 goals and 17 assists. Three players have 25 points — senior midfielder Garen David (20 goals, 5 assist), sophomore midfielder Trenton Gahm (19 goals, 6 assists), and senior attacker Gavin Dehnert (12 goals, 13 assits). Senior Jack Ramert handles most of the duty in front of the goal and is 12-4 with 216 saves.
The third-place game is scheduled at 6:00 p.m. on Thursday, June 9, at Chanhassen High School, followed by the championship game on the same field at 8:00 p.m.
Bragging rights are on the line because only either The Blake School or Eden Prairie has ever won the championship. The girls’ tournament is scheduled to begin with semifinals at Chanhassen High School on Wednesday, June 8. The Blake School, defending champion, is the top seed for the first time in five years, and Eden Prairie is the No. 2 seed but was the top seed the previous four years. Both teams are competing for their third state championship. In the final coaches’ association poll, The Blake School earned the top rating, followed by Eden Prairie at No. 2. Stillwater Area was No. 5 and Bloomington Jefferson was No. 9.
No. 1 Seed – The Blake School, Minneapolis (14-0) vs. No. 4 Seed – Bloomington Jefferson (14-2) at 6:00 p.m. The defending champion Bears of The Blake School, who also claimed the championship in 2008 and were the 2007 and 2009 runners-up, return in search of more gold in their fifth consecutive and overall appearance. Two of their victories came against tournament qualifiers — a 20-9 win over Stillwater Area on April 30 and a 14-12 win over Eden Prairie on May 19. Junior midfielder Meghan Bauer leads the offense with 100 points on 63 goals and 37 assists. Senior forward Hillary Crowe added 45goals and 27 assists. Ninth-grade midfielder Lydia Sutton has 55 points on 35 goals and 20 assists. Senior midfielder Abbie Lund has 33 points on 25 goals and 8 assists. Juniors Bailey Dunning and Anna Dworsky share the goaltending duties. Dunning has the most minutes and made 58 saves. Dworsky has 29 saves. The Jaguars of Bloomington Jefferson are making their first tournament appearance and have not played any other tournament qualifier. The Jaguars have scored 201 goals (12.6 per game average) and given up 110 goals (6.9 per game average). Senior forward Elizabeth Wittenborg leads the team with 72 points on 32 goals and 40 assists. Junior forward Caroline Bayard has 50 points on a team-leading 37 goals plus 13 assists. Senior midfielder Laura Berglund has 46 points on 28 goals and 18 assists. Senior midfielder Brenna Murray has 37 points on 24 goals and 13 assists. A ninth-grader, Oralee Hespenheide, protects the net and has 133 saves.
No. 2 Seed – Eden Prairie (14-1) vs. No. 3 Seed – Stillwater Area (14-2) at 8:00 p.m. The Eagles of Eden Prairie are making their fifth consecutive and overall appearance. They are pursuing their third title to add to championship trophies won in 2007 and 2009. During regular-season play Eden Prairie’s only loss was to The Blake School, 14-12. Junior midfielder Christine Easton leads the offense with 71 goals and 18 assists. Sophomore midfielder Emma Claire Fontenot added 36 goals and 43 assists. Senior midfielder Taylor Uhl scored 28 goals and added 38 assists. Eight other Eagles come into the tournament in double figures, including ninth-grader Heidi Colford, a forward, with 29 goals and 4 assists. Sophomore goaltender McKenzie Johnson gets the bulk of the minutes and has made 139 saves. The Stillwater Area Ponies are making their first tournament appearance and also lost a regular season game to The Blake School, 20-9. Senior forward Hannah Dickman has 109 points on 76 goals and 33 assists. Senior midfielder Sammi Reiter added 71 goals plus 12 assists. Sophomore forward Dana Almquist scored 33 goals and had 11 assists. Eighth-grade forward Remi Larson has 15 goals and 16 assists. Sophomore Marie Bonine has played every minute in goal and has made 117 saves.
IMPORTANT SCHEDULE NOTE: To accommodate graduations, the third-place game is scheduled for 2:00 p.m. on Friday, June 10, followed by the championship game at 4:00 p.m.
While the premise is the same for both boys’ and girls’ games, there are also several key differences. The girls play 25-minute halves of primarily running time, and the game is played with 12 players: a goalkeeper, five offensive players, and six defenders. The girls’ game is also considered a non-contact game.
The boys have 10 players on the field at a time: a goalie, three defensemen, three midfielders, and three attackers. They play four 12-minute stop-time quarters.
Players of both genders may pass, catch or run with the ball in their crosse.
Minnesota was the 22nd state to add a state lacrosse tournament in 2007. This year 59 girls’ varsity teams representing 76 schools and 54 boys’ varsity teams representing 68 schools registered with the League.
In 2010 there were 2,369 girls and 2,338 boys playing high school lacrosse in Minnesota. Nationally there were 68,768 girls and 90,670 boys playing the high school game.
Credentials are required for this tournament. The pairings, schedules and statistics for this tournament are posted on the League’s Web site – www.MSHSL.org. Tournament results will also be posted on the Web site.