The Prior Lake girls soccer team has the potential to surprise in the Section 2AA playoffs.
The Lakers look to get the No. 4 seed after an 8-4-3 regular season (4-3-2 in the South Suburban Conference). Prior Lake had its five-game unbeaten streak end Oct. 3 with a 4-2 league home loss to No. 5-ranked Rosemount.
The Lakers went into the game off a 2-0 home win over Apple Valley Oct. 1 in SSC play and a 5-0 victory at St. Paul Como Park Sept. 28.
Section 2AA brackets can be found at mshsl.org when they are released.
The Lakers look to get either Eden Prairie (6-7-2) or Chaska (8-5-3) at home in the quarterfinals, which are Oct. 8. Second-ranked Edina (12-2-1) should be the No. 1 seed, likely followed by No. 8 Minnetonka (11-2-1) and Shakopee (8-3-4).
Bloomington Jefferson (3-11-1) and Chanhassen (3-8-2) are also in the field.
The semifinals are Oct. 10. The higher seed is at home in the first two rounds. The title game is Oct. 15 at a site to be determined. Minnetonka is the defending champion.
Prior Lake is 2-2 against section squads, beating Chaska and Bloomington Jefferson while losing to both Edina and Shakopee.
Against Como Park, senior Sophie Edwards led the Lakers' offense with a goal and two assists, while senior Calyn Schanzenbach had a goal and an assist. Juniors Abby Williams, Kate Trachsel and Averie Pritchard also had goals.
Senior Allison Alessi and junior Brynna Ray each had an assist. Senior Katarina DeCaroli made three saves for the shutout.
Decaroli picked up her eighth shutout of the season in the win over Apple Valley, which was played in a driving rain. Junior Sam Meyer and Edwards had the Lakers’ goals. Pritchard picked up an assist.
Against Rosemount, Prior Lake jumped out to a 2-0 lead on goals from Traschel and Edwards. But the Irish responded scoring the game's next four goals.
Williams and Traschel each had an assist for the Lakers. DeCaroli made five saves in goal.
Prior Lake has never made the state field as a Class 2A program. The program’s lone state berth came in 2002 in its last year as a Class A team.
The Lake Conference has dominated Section 2AA the last seven seasons, winning the last seven crowns. Eden Prairie has won four times, Minnetonka has twice, and Edina once.
The last non-Lake team to win the Section 2AA crown was Burnsville in 2011. The Blaze are now in Section 3AA.