Lakeville North suffered two one-goal losses during the regular season, neither of which sat well with the team. It picked an opportune time to avenge one of those setbacks.
The Panthers used their team speed to attack Burnsville in a 16-12 victory in the quarterfinals of the girls’ lacrosse state tournament Tuesday night at Chanhassen High School. The Blaze (14-2) edged Lakeville North 11-10 midway through the season.
“This is way more satisfying, it’s the state tournament,” said Lakeville North junior Kacie Waagbo, who had five goals and two assists. “Obviously, we didn’t play our best the first time because they beat us.”
Waagbo had four goals in the first half, helping the Panthers (13-4) race to a 12-6 lead against the defenseless Blaze. Lakeville North countered with a goal after each of Burnsville’s first five goals.
“We have so many fast girls, it’s crazy,” Waagbo said. “We utilized it well.”
The Blaze closed to within 13-10 with less than nine minutes remaining. Five Burnsville players had two goals on the night.
Lakeville North, which will play Eden Prairie in the semifinals, scored the next three goals, including a goal and an assist by Waagbo, to foil the comeback bid. Hannah Koloski also netted her fourth goal during the spurt.
“We have a tendency to let up,” Waagbo said. “We have to quit doing that.”
Stillwater 17, Elk River/Rogers/Zimmerman 8: The experience the Ponies gained from tournament appearances in 2011 and 2012 was evident against the overwhelmed Elks.
Stillwater (15-2) scored 10 consecutive goals in the first half and cruised to victory. Elk River (13-4) was making its first state tournament appearance.
“The first half gave us a lot of confidence,” said the Ponies’ leading goal-scorer, senior Dana Almquist. She had two goals and one assist in the opening 25 minutes of play when Stillwater built a 13-2 lead. “That was one of the best halves we’ve played this year.”
Stillwater will face a familiar foe in Blake on Thursday. Defending state champion Blake beat the Ponies 17-10 in the semifinals a year ago and 13-8 in the final week of the regular season.
“Blake will be a really good challenge,” Almquist said. “We have played them a lot the past three years. We will have to capitalize on their mistakes.”
Sophomore Carter Sanderson, who was sidelined earlier this season because of a concussion, led the Ponies with five goals. Junior Katherine Sheely and senior Emma Wiessner added four and three goals, respectively.
Blake 15, Armstrong 5: The three-time defending state champion Bears looked like they took offense to being seeded No. 2.
Blake (14-3) turned in another dominating performance against Armstrong (14-2), scoring the game’s first four goals in the opening five minutes en route to a 10-goal victory. They defeated Armstrong 18-5 in the opening game of the season.
“It’s win or go home,” Blake junior standout Lydia Sutton said. She had four goals in the first half when the Bears built a 10-1 lead. “We didn’t want to underestimate or overestimate anybody.”
Four other Blake players scored two goals. Five players also had at least one assist.
“We played well as a team, and moved the ball pretty well to each other,” Sutton said. “We played pretty good today.”
The Falcons were making their first state tournament appearance.
Eden Prairie 18, Champlin Park 0: The struggles for the Northwest Suburban Conference continued in the third game. It only took the top-ranked Eagles 32 seconds to get on the scoreboard, and the onslaught was underway in the biggest mismatch of the quarterfinals.
Eden Prairie (15-1) had six different players score in the first seven minutes while building a quick seven-goal lead on the Rebels (9-6). It wound up with nine different players scoring in the first half (10 in the game) while building an insurmountable 13-0 lead.
“We didn’t want to take anything for granted,” Eagles senior midfielder Emma Claire Fontenot said. Fontenot and freshman forward Sara Woodring each finished with three goals. “We came into the game wanting to play like this was our next state championship game.”