Wayzata senior attackman Brian Machut doesn't play any offseason lacrosse. The start of the lacrosse season means time to dust the cobwebs off his gear and wipe the rust from his game.
Judging by the deft touch Machut used to score the winning goal in the Trojans' 5-4 victory over previously unbeaten Champlin Park on Thursday in a state boys' lacrosse tournament quarterfinal at Chaska High School, he might just be entering his prime.
With Wayzata nursing a one-goal lead in the fourth quarter, Trojans junior midfielder Adam Grooms whipped a pass through heavy traffic in front the Champlin Park net to an open Machut near the left post. Machut, who led the unseeded Trojans (13-4) with 25 goals entering the state tournament, took his time once he caught the ball. No. 3-seed Champlin Park's suffocating defense doesn't surrender many scoring chances, much less open looks from three feet out. Machut wasn't about to waste it.
"I just wanted to make one fake and then just make sure I got it in the net," Machut said about his goal that put Wayzata ahead 5-3 with 8:38 left.
Champlin Park (14-1), which defeated Wayzata 5-4 during the regular season, pulled to within one on a goal by Gage Monson scored with 23.1 seconds left. Wayzata's Peter Stammers won the ensuing faceoff, and the Trojans killed the clock until turning it over with 5.7 seconds left. Champlin Park was unable to get off a shot after taking the ball out from behind the left of the goal.
Wayzata will play Eden Prairie in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday at Chanhassen High School.
Eden Prairie 8, White Bear Lake 7: Eagles senior Ronnie Spielman took one for the team and scored one for the team, too.
He took a fourth-quarter shot to the back of his neck that required an ice pack to ease the pain and reduce the swelling. He also scored a crucial goal in the fourth quarter that enabled the No. 2-seeded and defending state champion Eagles to outlast unseeded White Bear Lake.
Spielman and freshman attackman Nick Leiverman scored back-to-back goals in a span of 29 seconds early in the fourth quarter to give the No. 3-ranked Eagles (15-2) an 8-6 lead.
Spielman and Leiverman are normally the fourth and fifth options in the Eagles offense behind J.D. Spielman, Charlie Venable and Sean Patterson. But White Bear Lake's zone defense allowed for little dodging and a lot of perimeter ball movement.
"Playing a zone is not hard work; you just have to be smart, you have to have good sticks, you have to let the ball do the work," Eden Prairie coach Ryan Ward said. "We started to figure it out a little bit."
Lakeville North 11, Blake 9: Panthers junior Roman Rohrbach said he's been savoring the idea of playing one of the state's most formidable defenses.
"We play in the South Suburban Conference, one of the hardest conferences in the state," Rohrbach said. "I felt like I was prepared."
Rohrbach scored three goals, including a back-breaker late in the fourth quarter, as the No. 5-seeded Panthers upended No. 4 Blake.
Lakeville North will face top-seeded Rosemount in the semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday at Chanhassen High School.
Lakeville North (14-3), playing without 32-goal scorer Luke Anderson (he chose to play in an all-star event instead of the state tournament), desperately needed scoring options beyond Rohrbach against the Bears (14-3). The Panthers found one in junior attackman Ryan Bissonett, who scored twice to break a 7-7 tie in the second half.
Rosemount 16, Mahtomedi 6: Senior Conner Yepsen, the Star Tribune's All-Metro Player of the Year, scored two goals in the first 71 seconds and had four by halftime as the top-seeded and No. 1-ranked Irish cruised past the Zephyrs (9-7).
Rosemount (15-1) led 8-2 at halftime and 11-3 heading into the fourth quarter. Luke VanOverbeke also scored four goals for the Irish.