The Prior Lake girls lacrosse team is headed back to state after outscoring its three Section 6 opponents 47-16.
The top-seeded Lakers held off third-seeded Edina in the title game June 6, winning 12-10 on their home turf. The final score wasn’t indicative on how Prior Lake had control of the game from midway through the first half until about three minutes remaining in the contest.
Prior Lake led 12-5 with just over three minutes to go when the Hornets went on a late run, scoring twice in the final 45 seconds to make it a two-goal deficit.
Edina needed two goals in final 17 seconds to force overtime, a task that was pretty much impossible.
“We are going to back to state, feels great,” Lakers’ senior Lauren Wick said.
The Lakers (14-1 overall) rolled to a 19-1 home victory over ninth-seeded St. Louis Park in the quarterfinals May 31 and cruised past fourth-seeded Apple Valley 16-5 in the semifinals June 4.
The Lakers earned the No. 2 seed at state and will take on Maple Grove in the quarterfinals June 11 at Minnetonka at 1 p.m. Eden Prairie (14-1) is the No. 1 seed and will face Cretin-Derham Hall in the first round.
Other quarterfinal games include third-seeded Breck versus Forest Lake and fourth-seeded Lakeville North versus fifth-seeded Stillwater.
The semifinals are June 13 in Chanhassen, while the title game is June 15 at the same venue at 3:30 p.m. Compete state brackets are available at mshsl.org.
The Lakers' only loss this spring is to Eden Prairie, falling 10-8 to the Eagles back on May 20.
Meanwhile, Prior Lake was third at state in 2017, fourth in 2016 and fifth in 2015. Last year, Apple Valley upset the Lakers in the Section 6 title game and then went on to beat Eden Prairie for the state championship.
In the win over Edina, Wick did a great job setting up the Lakers’ offense. She finished with a goal and four assists. She fed senior Ashtyn King for back-to-back goals in the second half to give the Lakers the seven-goal lead (12-5).
King finished with three goals, while sophomore Payton Bloedow led the way scoring four times and adding an assist. Junior Josie Kropp had a pair of goals, while sophomore Mackenzie Salentre and ninth-grader Josie Wilhelm both scored once. Sophomore Jade Haugen had an assist.
Senior Grace Mattox finished with five saves in goal.
It was a 3-3 game midway through the first half, before the Lakers took control, scoring four times before the break to lead 7-3. Prior Lake tallied twice early in the second half to go up 9-3.
In the final three minutes, the Lakers were a little on their heels, but they could afford to be up seven goals.
“We just made sure we were all in on defense when it got closer and we playing together,” Wick said.
Edina has hung with the Lakers in their two games this spring. Prior Lake won 12-7 back on April 20. That was only game the Lakers didn’t win by double digits heading into the section title game.
Wick knew Edina would not lay down and would battle to the end.
“Every team in the playoffs is going to fight hard; they are fighting for their season,” Wick said. “So it was important that we had that same mentality.”