While the Chanhassen High School girls lacrosse team had set playing in a section championship game as a goal, they clearly wanted more.
“Oh, they wanted to win it,” said Eden Prairie co-coach Beth Patterson.
Eden Prairie, a 13-time section champion, scored 12 seconds into Wednesday’s Section 2A final.
With more than 2 minutes left in the half, Eden Prairie held for a final shot.
“We scored with 18 seconds left on the clock,” laughed Patterson. “We gave the girls a little constructive criticism after that.”
The goal extended Eden Prairie’s lead at halftime to 11-5.
But Chanhassen didn’t just fade away.
“They’re tough,” said Patterson, “and we knew they’d be tough.”
Chanhassen had cut into Eden Prairie’s lead, scoring on a couple, a few actually, 8-meter shots.
“We had a tough time defending the arc,” said Patterson. “We had players in position, but we were still drawing whistles. I can remember a couple plays where Reese (defender Reese Hugdahl) was in perfect position with her stick straight up, and she still got called.
“I’m not going to say we were flawless,” she added, “but there’s no way we made as many mistakes as they (officials) said we did.”
Note: Chanhassen had three times as many 8-meter attempts as Eden Prairie.
“We hadn’t played a game all year where we had more fouls than the other team,” said Patterson.
Yet, the game played on.
As the game tightened, Chanhassen slowed it down.
“That played into our hands,” said Patterson. “They tried to pull us out, but we weren’t biting.
We had the lead and we were in the driver’s seat.”
The slow pace didn’t change the Eagles’ second-half approach.
“We were going to run the clock,” said Patterson. “We were going to work at getting a sure shot and we were going to take it.”
Final score: Eden Prairie 14, Chanhassen 9.
Abby Johnson, Maggie Brown and Kacie Riggs scored three goals apiece. Brooke Lewis and CJ Froemming added two each. Josie Lilliquist counted a lone goal.
Emilie Bloyer saved 18 of 27 shots and was credited with the win.
On Friday, Eden Prairie was awarded the State Tournament’s No. 1 seed. Prior Lake was seeded No. 2, Breck No. 3, Lakeville North No. 4 and Stillwater No. 5.
Eden Prairie defeated Prior Lake and Breck during the regular season.
On Tuesday, Eden Prairie was scheduled to open State Tournament play at Minnetonka with a 5 p.m. game against unseeded Cretin-Derham Hall.
“We know very little about Cretin,” said Patterson. “We’ve seen their stats and know who we should be looking out for, but we haven’t seen them play.”
If Eden Prairie wins, it plays a semifinal game at 5 p.m. Thursday at Chanhassen. Eden Prairie would play the Lakeville North vs. Stillwater winner.
Question: Lacrosse people are predicting an Eden Prairie vs. Prior Lake final, is Eden Prairie thinking the same?
“We don’t ever overlook our next opponent,” said Patterson. “To get to Thursday, we have to win at 5 p.m. on Tuesday. To get to Saturday, we have to win at 5 p.m. on Thursday.
“We’re never going to put the horse before the cart,” she added.
Semifinals and finals will be played at Chanhassen High School. The girls championship game is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. on Saturday.