In Thursday’s state semifinals, the No. 3-seeded Eden Prairie High School boys lacrosse team’s zone defense smothered No. 2-seeded Prior Lake’s offense, limiting the Lakers to just four goals.
On the flip side, the Lakers’ defense suffocated Eden Prairie’s offense, limiting the Eagles to just three goals.
Four goals beats three goals every time.
The game was that close. Eden Prairie’s Matt Matsui won 5-11 faceoffs. Prior Lake’s Joey Barnard won 6-11.
Eden Prairie goalie Garret Smith stopped 8-12 shots. Prior Lake goalie Colin Naurtz stopped 7-10.
Note: Eden Prairie had a goal waved off because a player was deemed to be in the crease … behind the net.
The Lakers’ Riley Bachinski counted three of Prior Lake’s four goals. Eden Prairie’s Collin Penn counted two of the Eagles’ three goals.
Eden Prairie led 2-1 after one and 2-1 at halftime.
The Lakers took the lead with a three-goal third quarter.
Penn scored Eden Prairie’s third goal with just 27 seconds left on the game, meaning the Eagles played nearly three quarters without a goal.
With its win, Prior Lake advances to the state championship game, where it will meet No. 1-seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s. Eden Prairie’s loss drops the Eagles into the third-place game where it will play St. Thomas Academy at 1 p.m. Saturday at Minnetonka High School.