There’s a reason why Riley Bachinski led the Prior Lake boys lacrosse team with 34 goals in the regular season.
The senior has a wicked shot — just ask Rosemount goalie Landon Merigold.
Bachinski rifled a laser into the upper right corner of the net from about 15 yards out to lift the top-seeded Lakers to a 4-3 overtime win over the second-seeded Irish in the Section 6 title game June 6.
It’s likely Merigold, who was brilliant in net all game, never saw the ball through the traffic out front. The goal gave Prior Lake its fourth straight Section 6 crown and a chance to defend its state title.
Prior Lake (13-3 overall) takes a nine-game winning streak into state. The Lakers are seeded No. 2 and will open the quarterfinals June 11 against Wayzata at Chanhassen at 1 p.m.
Unbeaten Benilde-St. Margarets's is seeded No. 1 and will face Centennial in the first round, while third-seeded Eden Prairie faces Lakeville North and fourth-seeded Mahtomedi gets fifth-seeded St. Thomas Academy.
The semifinals are June 13 in Minnetonka, while the championship game is back in Chanhassen June 15 at 6 p.m. For complete brackets, go to mshsl.org.
Prior Lake beat Benilde-St. Margaret’s 10-8 in the title game last year. The Lakers also won the state title in 2016 and finished sixth in 2017.
Meanwhile, Bachinski said he was just looking for a good opportunity to get a shot on goal in overtime against Rosemount. Prior Lake hit the crossbar twice in the game and a post once. Bachinski had two of those close calls.
“I had a good opportunity [in overtime] and I took it,” Bachinksi said. “I’m glad it went in.”
Prior Lake beat Rosemount 10-5 in South Suburban Conference play back on May 7 en route to the league title. The Irish slowed the game down in the section final and changed up their defense.
“They played a zone against us and that made our offense go slower,” Bachinski said. “It was a good plan by them and their goalie played great. He made some great stops.”
Prior Lake led 2-1 at the half, but the Irish scored twice in the third quarter to go up a goal. The Lakers tied the game off an Irish turnover.
Junior Alex Jacobson forced it and then he fed senior Luke Bloedow near the goal, who tied the game at 3-3 with 8:20 left to play.
The game was back and fourth in the final moments with both teams getting some chances to score, but neither couldn’t covert.
Prior Lake won the faceoff in overtime and right away called a timeout to set up its attack. Bachinski’s game-winner came with 2:29 left in the extra session.
Prior Lake played a couple low-scoring games in the regular season, losing 7-4 to Minnetonka in the season opener and falling 4-3 in overtime to Benilde-St. Margaret’s in overtime back on May 4.
The Lakers earned a spot in the section final after rolling over eighth-seeded Bloomington Kennedy 14-2 in the quarterfinals May 31 and downing fourth-seeded Bloomington Jefferson 11-1 in the semifinals June 5.
Full stats for the win over Rosemount have not been made available. Stats are also not available for the Lakers’ quarterfinal and semifinal victories.