In fifth grade, Remi Larson fell for the sport of lacrosse. Six years later, she’s one of the best high school players in Minnesota.
“I just love the game,” Larson said.
Larson, who will be a senior this fall at Stillwater, was one of seven girls from Minnesota to be named either to the All-America first team or honorable mention list by US Lacrosse, the national governing body of lacrosse.
“That was definitely unexpected,” said Larson, who recently committed to play Division II college lacrosse for Lindenwood University in Missouri. “I was basically shocked. It’s really an honor.”
Larson, a midfielder, also was named all-state for a second time and Stillwater’s MVP by her teammates following a 2014 season that saw the Ponies go 15-4 overall, 8-1 in the Suburban East Conference and third place in the state. It was Stillwater’s sixth conference title in a row and fourth consecutive state tournament appearance.
“Something just clicked with our team,” said Larson, who’s been on Stillwater’s varsity team since seventh grade. “It was supposed to be a rebuilding year, but we got a lot further than expected.”
This past season, Larson ranked third on the Ponies with 39 goals and added three assists. She was second on the team in gathering ground balls with 29.
Among Ponies’ elite
Stillwater coach Rick Reidt said he believes Larson will graduate Stillwater next spring as one of the best players in the program’s history — alongside Ponies’ greats like 2013 grad Dana Almquist, who plays for Louisville, and 2011 graduates Hannah Dickman and Sammi Reiter and fellow 2015 classmate Carter Sanderson.
Larson is only the second Stillwater player to ever be voted as team MVP as a junior.
“She is well liked and respected by her teammates,” said Reidt, Stillwater’s coach the past seven years. “Remi is very easy to work with; she is always polite and cooperative. In games, she always puts our team first. She’s truly an unselfish player.”
Reidt said what sets Larson apart is her athleticism, creativity and game sense, noting her ability to consistently catch the ball and deliver accurate passes in high-pressure situations.
“Remi is the player we want with the ball in a close game. She always knows what to do, whether it’s a dodge to the goal or a pass to a teammate. She has the skills to get the job done,” Reidt said. “I have never seen Remi flustered in practice or a game.”
Larson also is a trailblazer. She will become the first player in the seven-year history of the girls lacrosse program to play varsity for six years.
“In the last game of her seventh grade season, when one of our starting senior attackers was injured in the second half of a one-goal section championship game, Remi was the player on our bench that I had the confidence in to send into the game and she played flawlessly,” Reidt said. “She has been a starter ever since.”
Even as a freshman Larson, who also plays tennis for Stillwater, was one of the smallest players on the team. However, hard work and a growth spurt allowed her to add length and muscle.
And now she’s one of the fastest players on the team, according to Reidt.
“She has always worked very hard in our offseason speed, quickness, agility and weight training program,” Reidt said. “She has worked hard to improve her shooting and is now in a position to be one of the very top scorers in Minnesota.”