Born in Canada and raised in Minnetonka, Lydia Sutton is making her native country proud by excelling at lacrosse, its No. 1 summer sport.
Sutton, a junior at Blake, dominates the game as a midfielder. She has scored 48 goals this season and fueled the Bears’ past three state championship teams with her talent and tenacity.
High school coaches took notice, voting Sutton as their player of the year. Her native country also took notice. Sutton, who retained dual citizenship, is the youngest player on Canada’s national team roster and will play in the World Cup in July.
Sutton’s abilities on the local and international stages led to her being selected as the inaugural Star Tribune girls’ lacrosse Metro Player of the Year.
“She can do it all,” Blake coach Laura Mark said. “She can score goals to get us ahead and I had her playing defense last year in the state championship game against Eden Prairie. And she can get the ball and hold it when the game gets close.”
Sutton does it all with great speed, stick skills and an aggressive style. The latter helps her thrive at the international level but occasionally draws the ire of local officials and opposing coaches. Sutton got two disciplinary yellow cards in a game against Stillwater earlier this season, one for talking to an official, and had to leave the game.
“Playing with Canada made me more aggressive because it’s such a big jump from high school to the national level,” Sutton said. “I have to learn to control myself but not hold back too much.”
Sutton’s biography on Team Canada’s website says “I’m competitive and fearless and I work hard at my sports.”
In defense of her star, Mark said, “She’s not out to harm anybody. She wants to win. She’s going to have moments where she doesn’t make the right choice. But she’s a kid. And she’s grown a ton.”
Playing for Team Canada put Sutton in the unusual position of facing Team USA’s Lindsey Munday and Devon Wills, both of whom will be Sutton’s college coaches at Southern California.
“It’s a little weird seeing someone that’s going to be coaching me and having to mark up on them or shoot on them,” Sutton said. “But it’s also such a good feeling.”
Mark uses the word “collaboration” to describe her coach-player relationship with Sutton.
“She’s in her fifth year and she is by far our most seasoned player,” Mark said. “At this point, I learn from her.”