If one is an example, two is a coincidence and three is trend, the Eden Prairie High School boys lacrosse team is trending.
In its Section 2A semifinal win two weeks ago, No. 2-seeded Eden Prairie used an 8-1 run to beat No. 3-seeded Shakopee 14-9.
In last Wednesday’s Section 2A championship game, Eden Prairie outscored Chanhassen 4-1 in the second half to quiet the Storm 9-5.
In Tuesday’s state quarterfinal win over Lakeville North, the Eagles outscored the Panthers 6-2 in the fourth quarter. Final score: Eden Prairie 14, Lakeville North 10.
What’s up with the Eagles’ late-game dominance?
“Our guys know they’re going to be playing four quarters,” said Eden Prairie coach Ryan Ward.
The coach then talks of playing lots of players and wearing teams down.
“We get better as we get more players involved,” said Ward.
Still, Eden Prairie has its constants – Quentin Matsui, Michael Fabel and Collin Penn.
“They’ve stood out,” said Ward, “and their compete level is off the charts.”
He then mentions Will Foster, Alex Kaiser, Henry Benson...
“It’s not just one guy,” he added.
In Eden Prairie’s section-finals win over Chanhassen, the Storm focused their defensive energy on stopping Penn.
“That opened up opportunities for someone else,” said Ward. “Henry (Benson) scored four goals.”
In Eden Prairie’s state quarterfinal win over Lakeville North, the Eagles counted goals from five different players, including four from Foster and three each from Penn and Jacob Rhee.
Eden Prairie opened Tuesday’s game by going on a 4-0 run. It finished by scoring four of the game’s last five goals.
Eden Prairie opened state-tournament play as a No. 3-seed. Benilde-St. Margaret’s is seeded No. 1, Prior Lake No. 2, Mahtomedi No. 4 and St. Thomas Academy No. 5.
Eden Prairie lost to Benilde during the regular season. It didn’t play Prior Lake.
When asked for a state tournament prediction, Ward mentions experience.
“We’ve been there done that,” he said. “We’re going to battle.”
Eden Prairie is making its 10th state tournament appearance. It won back-to-back titles in 2013 and 2014.
With Tuesday’s win over Lakeville North, Eden Prairie advances to Thursday’s semifinal, where it will meet the No. 2-seeded Prior Lake vs. Wayzata winner. Thursday’s game, at Minnetonka High School, is slated to begin at 3 p.m.