At first Eden Prairie gave Stillwater no chance. Then the Ponies rallied and the two girls' lacrosse teams played another state tournament semifinal classic. Just like last year.
Even the score, 15-14, and the winner, Eden Prairie, were the same Thursday in the game at Minnetonka High School.
"They're very ferocious; they're very physical," Eagles coach Beth Patterson said of Stillwater.
Eden Prairie (17-1) jumped out to a 4-0 lead, with Naomi Rogge starting the barrage. She finished with six goals and two assists in the game.
"We were connecting just the simple passes, making the right moves and cuts," Rogge said.
Then the Ponies (16-2) quickly fought back. Carly Fedorowski's second goal gave the Ponies a 6-5 lead. Stillwater's Gina Jablonski ended the run with a goal to give her team a 9-7 lead to end the half.
Patterson said she felt the Eagles "got into a funk and never really got our attack rolling."
Eden Prairie, which won last year's battle in overtime, didn't regain the lead until Sarah Woodring's goal put the Eagles back ahead 13-12 with 12:57 left in the game. Rogge added two goals down the stretch.
"They won a few more center draws at the end of the game, and I think that was the difference," Ponies coach Rick Reidt said.
Blake School 12, Prior Lake 10: Good thing Robyn Lipschultz became a girls' lacrosse goalie.
Blake's first-year goalie had a game-high six saves in the Bears' semifinal victory over Prior Lake (14-2). Lipschultz, who also plays soccer goalie at Blake, had plenty of big-game experience going in. She played in the 2013 girls' soccer state championship game.
"She's got the instincts," Blake coach Sarah Fellows said.
She also got offensive support with Blake's 8-1 run in the first half. Shannon Ellis, Sophie Skallerud and Annie Lyman each scored twice.
Prior Lake rallied big in the second half to cut the lead to 9-8. Ashley Norberg scored three of her four goals for the Lakers in that stretch.
"The girls just had to take it over," Lakers coach Ali Minelli-Fenstermacher said.
Blake lost in last year's semifinal after winning five consecutive state championships, and didn't want a repeat. Johnsrud scored followed by Lyman's goal for an 11-8 edge.
"Eight minutes left and you can go to the state championship game, or eight minutes left and you cannot," Fellows recalled telling her team. "They just really decided they wanted this game and turned it on."
Next up is another shot at a championship on Saturday in Chanhassen.
"It's been our goal all season long to get back into this game," Fellows said.