The Blake School girls, Eden Prairie boys to defend titles; Four teams making first appearances
The Minnesota State High School League will conduct its eighth lacrosse tournament for girls and boys June 10, 12 and 14. For the second time, eight teams will compete for both boys and girls at both Chanhassen and Chaska high schools. There were 73 girls’ teams and 68 boys’ teams competing this year. The Blake School girls will defend their title with the No. 1 seed and seek their sixth title. The Eden Prairie boys will mount their title defense as the No. 2 seed. Four of the 16 tournament teams are making first tournament appearances.
The four quarterfinals will be played at Chaska High School on Tues., June 10. Both championship and consolation semifinals move to Chanhassen High School on Thur., June 12. On Sat., June 14, the consolation championship and third-place games will be played at Chaska High School, and the championship game will be played at Chanhassen High School.
Wayzata (12-4) vs. No. 3 Seed – Champlin Park (14-0) at 1 p.m.
The Trojans of Wayzata are making their second tournament appearance and first since 2010. Champlin Park edged Wayzata 5-4 in the teams’ last regular-season contest. First-time tournament qualifier Lakeville North edged the Trojans 11-10 in mid-May, and the defending champion Eden Prairie Eagles split a series with their conference rivals, with Wayzata earning an 8-6 win and dropping their first meeting 5-4. Wayzata has outscored opponents 165-75 this season. Six players have 15 or more goals, led by senior attacker Brian Machut with 25 goals and 20 assists and junior attacker Charlie Chermak with 24 goals and 14 assists. Junior goaltender Aaron Peterson is the starter, went 12-4, and made 157 saves (.680). Champlin Park finished third last year in the team’s first tournament appearance. The Rebels’ only common tournament opponent was Wayzata, whom they defeated 5-4 in their regular-season finale. The Rebels outscored opponents 148-56 this season. Champlin Park has four players with 15 or more goals, led by senior attacker Max Turgeon with 28 and a team-leading 42 points, and junior attacker Nick Bunde also with 28 goals and 41 points on the season. Senior Bryce Plunkett is the primary goaltender and made 123 saves (.715).
White Bear Lake Area (14-1) vs. No. 2 Seed. – Eden Prairie (14-2) at 3 p.m.
The Bears of White Bear Lake Area are making their second consecutive and fourth overall tournament appearance. The Bears finished fourth in 2013. They needed overtime to defeat first-time tournament qualifier Mahtomedi 7-6. White Bear Lake Area did not provide team statistics, however, junior midfielder Connar Dehnert has 39 goals and 13 assists on the season, complemented by four other players with 15 or more goals, including sophomore midfielder Ethan Peterson with 21 goals and 21 assists. Junior William Ramert is the primary goaltender and has 183 saves and he gave up 66 goals. The defending champion Eagles of Eden Prairie are making their fourth consecutive and sixth overall tournament appearance and seek to earn their second title. In addition to splitting games against Wayzata, the Eagles edged tournament qualifier The Blake School 6-5. Eden Prairie provided no team statistics, however, senior attacker Charlie Venable leads the team with 65 points on 47 goals and 18 assists. Four other players have also compiled 15 or more goals, including sophomore JD Spielmann with 42 goals plus 10 assists. Senior Max Fahey has had the bulk of minutes in the net, made 116 saves and gave up 78 goals.
No. 5 Seed – Lakeville North (13-3) vs. No. 4 Seed – The Blake School, Minneapolis (13-3) at 5 p.m.
The Panthers of Lakeville North have qualified for the first time. They defeated Wayzata 11-10 and lost 19-5 to Rosemount, also a first-time tournament qualifier. The Panthers hold a slight 144-120 edge in goals scored over their opponents. Five players have amassed 15 or more goals, led by junior attacker Roman Rohrbach with 42 goals and 24 assists. Sophomore midfielder Luke Anderson has added 32 goals and 10 assists. Junior Bryce Bouman is the primary goaltender who has made 182 saves (.625) and allowed 106 goals. The Bears of The Blake School are making their second consecutive and fourth overall appearance. They bowed out in the 2013 consolation semifinals and won the title in 2008. Eden Prairie was a 6-5 victim, but Mahtomedi defeated the Bears 16-4. The Blake School outscored opponents 193-83, averaging more than a dozen goals per game. Five players have scored 15 or more times, led by senior attacker Grant Oie with 65 points on 36 goals and 29 assists and junior attacker Quinn Ellis with 63 points on 33 goals and 30 assists. Sophomore Nick Washuta defends the net and made 179 saves (.683) and gave up 83 goals.
Mahtomedi (9-6) vs. No. 1 Seed – Rosemount (14-1) at 7 p.m.
The Zephyrs of Mahtomedi have qualified for the first time and three of their losses came against tournament qualifiers; 16-6 in their season opener to Rosemount, 7-6 in overtime to White Bear Lake Area, and 16-4 to The Blake School in their regular-season finale. Mahtomedi owns just a 114-112 advantage in goals scored over opponents. Four players have scored 15 or more goals, led by sophomore attacker Ethan Grover with 19 goals and 5 assists, but sophomore attacker Matt Schwartz is the points leader with 12 goals and 27 assists. Senior goaltender Ryan Nelson has made 211 saves (.672), averaging 15 saves per game and has given up 104 goals. The Irish of Rosemount are also making their inaugural tournament appearance and earned the top seed. They defeated Mahtomedi 16-6 and Lakeville North 19-5. Their only loss was 12-10 against Prior Lake, whom they beat 11-10 for the section title. The Irish average more than 15 goals scored per game. Seven players have scored 15 or more goals, led by senior twin midfielders Conner Yepsen with 48 goals and 22 assists for a team-leading 70 points and Carter Yepsen with 39 goals and 17 assists. Senior Shaun Skrbec has 100 saves and has allowed 100 goals.
The Blake School and Eden Prairie are the only teams who have ever won the girls’ championship and The Blake School, the defending champions, have won five of the seven titles. Both teams have qualified again. The Blake School earned the top seed and Eden Prairie is No. 2. All quarterfinals will be played on Tues., June 10 at Chanhassen High School, and all semifinal games will be played at Chaska High School on Thur., June 12. The consolation title game, third-place, and championship games will be played at Chanhassen High School on Sat., June 14.
Robbinsdale Armstrong (14-2) vs. No. 3 Seed – Apple Valley (16-0) at 1 p.m.
The Falcons of Robbinsdale Armstrong are making their second consecutive and overall tournament appearance. They won the 2013 consolation title. They defeated Northwest Suburban Conference rival and tournament qualifier Champlin Park 10-9 and suffered a 16-7 loss against The Blake School. The Falcons on average have outscored opponents by more than a 2-to-1 ratio, tallying 192 goals of their own while allowing opponents only 88. Five players have scored 15 or more goals, led by senior midfielder Mari Verbeten who has 39 goals and 14 assists. Senior forward Miranda Kaelberer has contributed 35 goals and 12 assists. Senior Catherine Stockdill has 61 saves in 552 minutes in goal while junior Isabel Snow has made 26 saves in 248 minutes in goal. Apple Valley’s only other tournament appearance was in 2012. The Eagles edged tournament qualifier Lakeville South 11-10 in early May. Apple Valley has nearly a 2-to-1 advantage in goals scored against opponents. Six players have scored 15 or more goals, led by Ms. Lacrosse finalist Katie Larson with 83 goals plus 14 assists. It is her second consecutive season with 70 or more goals. Eighth-grade forward Reagan Roelofs has 86 points on 51 goals and a team-leading 35 assists. Senior Marissa Guillou minds the net and has made 173 saves (.618) and has allowed 108 goals.
Champlin Park (13-1) vs. No. 2 Seed – Eden Prairie (14-2) at 3 p.m.
The Rebels of Champlin Park have qualified for the second consecutive and overall time. They bowed out in the 2013 consolation semifinals. The team’s only loss came against conference rival Robbinsdale Armstrong 10-9 and they defeated first-time tournament qualifier and conference rival Maple Grove 14-9. Champlin Park provided no team statistics, however, senior midfielder Marjie McNamara is the leading scorer with 54 goals and 12 assists, one of five players with 15 or more goals. Senior midfielder Katie Elder added 44 goals and 7 assists. Senior goaltender Kelsey Spoden has had the bulk of the minutes in net and made 109 saves (.471) and allowed 98 goals. The Eagles of Eden Prairie are making their eighth consecutive and overall appearance. They are pursuing their third title to add to championship trophies won in 2007 and 2009. Their last regular-season game was a 15-10 loss to The Blake School and they defeated tournament qualifier Stillwater Area 8-7 in overtime in the game before that. Sophomore forward Sara Woodring leads the team with 87 points on 52 goals and 35 assists. Junior forward Jessica Lagerquist added 41 goals and 9 assists. Junior Asil Asfour has 102 saves and the bulk of the minutes as the goaltender. The Eagles provided no team statistics.
Maple Grove (11-5) vs. No. 1 Seed – The Blake School, Minneapolis (14-2) at 5 p.m.
The Crimson of Maple Grove are making their inaugural appearance in the tournament. Two of their losses came against conference rivals and tournament qualifiers Champlin Park and Robbinsdale Armstrong, losing the former 14-9 and losing the latter 15-5. Maple Grove earned a 180-128 advantage in goals scored for the season. Eight players have scored 15 or more goals, led by senior midfielder Helena Nguyen with 27 goals. Both sophomores Hailey Herdine (22-12) and Lauren Kaufman (16-18) lead the team with 34 points. Ninth-grader Celina “Coco” Francis minds the net and has made 174 saves in 800 minutes of play. The defending champion Bears of The Blake School return in search of a sixth title in their eighth consecutive and overall appearance. Two of their victories, including their season-opener 16-7 defeat of the Robbinsdale Armstrong Falcons and their 15-10 victory and regular-season finale over Eden Prairie, came against tournament qualifiers. Five players have scored 15 or more goals, led by junior forward Olivia Nolan with 69 goals and 25 assists. Senior midfielder Lydia Sutton added 62 points on 39 goals and 23 assists. Junior Hannah Magarian played all but 13 minutes in the net and made 71 saves while allowing 92 goals. The Blake School provided no team statistics.
No. 5 Seed – Stillwater Area (13-3) vs. No. 4 Seed – Lakeville South (13-3) at 7 p.m.
The Ponies of Stillwater Area, who finished fourth for the second year in a row in 2013, are making their fourth consecutive and overall appearance. They were on the losing end of an 8-7 overtime game against Eden Prairie, the only tournament qualifier they played this season. The Ponies have outscored opponents by nearly 3-to-1 (248-88) margin. Eight players have scored 15 or more goals, led by junior forward Carter Sanderson with 57 goals and 11 assists, while senior forward Katherine Sheely has added 44 goals and 4 assists. Sophomore Katie Lottsfeldt has the most minutes in the net and has a .570 save percentage with 87 saves. The Cougars of Lakeville South are making their debut appearance, although the Panthers played in 2010 as a co-op with sister school Lakeville North. In their only contest against a tournament qualifier, the Cougars were edged 11-10 by South Suburban Conference rival Apple Valley. Senior midfielder Brooke Galle, one of five players with 15 or more goals, leads the Cougars with 61 goals and 9 assists. Junior forward Maddy Canney has a team-leading 92 points on 56 goals and 36 assists. Junior goaltender Kelsey Olsen has made 122 saves (.513) while allowing 116 goals.
The eight coaches of the section champions logged onto a special page of the League website and each coach ranked the other teams one through seven. The highest and lowest rankings for each team were discarded, leaving five rankings for each team. From those rankings, the teams were seeded one through five. From there, a blind draw was conducted to determine the opponents for the top three seeds. Seeds four and five are automatically paired without a draw.
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 goaltender, 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.