A three-goal advantage at halftime, Chanhassen's defense got tough, holding Orono without a score over the final 24 minutes, a 14-5 win in the Section 2 quarterfinals May 29.
That defense will be put to test in the semifinals on Monday, June 3, against the defending section champions, Minnetonka.
"They've been kind of our achilles heel the past couple of years. I really feel like we're going in with a different mindset, we're playing like a single unit, a single team," Chanhassen junior Max Lakosky said.
The Skippers upset the Storm, the top seed in 2018, in the championship match on Chanhassen's home turf. Minnetonka went on to placed third at state.
"Last year, being the top seed, it was really tough to lose that way. I guess that's why I'm looking forward to state so much this year. That's all I'm going to say," Lakosky said.
Game time is 6 p.m. at Einer Anderson Stadium.
Against Orono, a pair of five-goal quarters gave the Storm a 13-5 lead into the final period. Alex Duea led the way for Chanhassen with four goals.
Hunter Holcomb had a monster game with three goals and five assists with Blake White adding a hat trick and Tyr Christianson assisting on three scores. Chanhassen had a total of 38 ground balls and 35 shots.
Riah Rathe made 10 saves in more than 44 minutes of action. Defense was at the forefront in the victory. And that defense will be put to test against two of the state's top forwards in Minnetonka's Andrew DiFrancesco and Grant Brunsvold.
"Obviously they are great players, but I think we have guys who can match-up with them and shut them down. In games like these, you want to make the other players beat you, not star players. Some games that happens, some games it doesn't. I think that will be a main factor in who wins and who loses," Lakosky said.
Chanhassen has played one of the toughest, if not the best schedule in state, taking on No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret, No. 2 Stillwater, No. 4 Prior Lake, No. 7 Eagan, and No. 10 Lakeville North in addition to Mahtomedi, Bloomington Jefferson and Wayzata.
It's been a year of growth for many of the younger Storm players.
"I think when we went into that game, I was confident, maybe too overconfident," said Lakosky of the 2018 section title game. "This year we go in with a chip on our shoulder. We graduated two all-state, all-Americans, but this year we have a bunch of guys buying into the process."
"When I was in eighth grade it was a huge jump, the speed of the game. The improvement we're seeing, in practice, in games, it's exciting not only for this season but going forward in this program," Lakosky said.
Additionally, this season has been special for Lakosky in that his twin brother, Jackson, is new to the sport, and is on the field with him. He has filled into a midfielder/defender role, getting the No. 1 jersey that's been passed on to an upperclassmen coming out for the sport for the first time.
Past years Chris Wandling and Keegan Williams wore the No. 1 jersey.
"He had never picked up a lacrosse stick. I told him, 'Jack, you have great footwork, you can bench press 280 pounds. Go out there and bench press someone on the field.' He loves it. He's got a bunch of friends with him. It's been so much fun playing with my twin."
MINNETONKA 19, SOUTHWEST CHRISTIAN 1
Coming off its first playoff game, a victory over Holy Family Catholic, Southwest Christian managed a goal in an 19-1 decision to top-seeded Minnetonka in the Section 2 playoffs May 30.
No game information was available.
The Skippers have 13 wins in 14 matches into the semifinals versus No. 4 seed Chanhassen at 6 p.m. on Monday, June 3.
SHAKOPEE 18, CHASKA 3
A Shakopee squad that found themselves ranked for the first time ever, No. 6 in the final polls, advanced to the Section 2 semifinals with an 18-3 win over Chaska May 29.
After starting the season with an 0-6 record, the Hawks won five of the final eight matches for a 5-9 record.
Shakopee scored six goals in each of the first two quarters for the 12-0 lead at halftime.
Jacob Gasterland and Gabe Friedbauer, who leaves the program as the all-time scorer, netted tallies for the Hawks in the third quarter. Gasterland capped the scoring for Chaska with a second goal.
The Sabers are at Eden Prairie on Monday, June 3, in its first semifinal section appearance.