Payton Bloedow

Senior Payton Bloedow became Prior Lake's all-time leader in goals scored May 4, scoring her 163rd career goal in the Lakers' 13-9 win over Rosemount. 

Payton Bloedow keeps scoring goals for the No. 2-ranked Prior Lake girls lacrosse team.

The senior scored eight times in the Lakers' 13-9 South Suburban Conference win versus Rosemount May 4, giving her 163rd career goals which has made her the program's all-time leading goal scorer.

Bloedow is one of 11 players who were on the roster on Prior Lake's 2019 team that won the state title. The Lakers beat Eden Prairie 17-12 in the final to cap off an 18-1 season.

Bloedow scored 62 goals that season, including 13 in three state tournament games.

Prior Lake didn't get to defend their title last spring due to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic, which canceled all spring sports across the state.

Seniors Jade Haugen, Meghan McGowan, Jordan Gardner and Cayla Collins, juniors Josie Wilheim, Ryane Kearns, Jayne Bernick, Ava Schlitz and sophomores Nina Winter and Rachel Ward were on the 2019 roster.

Haugen scored 13 goals for the Lakers that season, while Willheim had 10 goals and Kearns and Ward both had four. Gardner was the back-up goalie that season.

Juniors Lindsey Grove, Gretchen McCann and sophomore Megan Sporney are also expected to have impact for Prior Lake this spring.

"This is a new team with new shoes to fill," Lakers Coach Heather Pierson said. "However, this team has been about each other since day one. They are for their teammates first and themselves second."

The Lakers opened this season winning seven of their first eight games, including their first five in league play. From 2015 to 2019, Prior Lake amassed a 44-1 record in the South Suburban Conference.

The program headed into this spring having won 36 straight league games.

Prior Lake's one loss is 10-8 to No. 1 Edina to open the season back on April 17. The Hornets are also a Section 6 foe.

The Lakers will end the regular season May 22 with a home game versus No. 10 Eden Prairie. The Section 6 playoffs start June 1.

The state tournament starts June 15 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are June 17 and the title game is June 19. A site is still to be determined.

Can Prior Lake win a second state title? Pierson said that's the goal.

"We know the climb we have in front of us to make that happen," she said. "This year, more than ever, is anyone's year to take the title. Our first game of the season was a loss against Edina and that humbled the team to recognize the work we have to do to be back at the top of the mountain."

The 2019 team also had two juniors on it, who missed their senior seasons last spring due to the pandemic. The Lakers' roster over the years has always had a mixture of ninth-graders and sophomores and many of those players now have become leaders.

"If they continue to believe, the team will continue to believe," Pierson said. "We are our own best and worst enemy — best in ways that the team pushes each other to be better every day and worst if we allow fear into our game."

Tom Schardin covers sports for Savage and Prior Lake. He is dependable, sarcastic and always joking around. Tom enjoys running and swimming and is often busy coaching his two kids' sports teams.