Lakeville South girls’ lacrosse coach Patrick Crandall knew he had something special in the making during his team’s state tournament run last season.
“We lost one main contributor who played a lot of minutes and was a main part of our team to graduation,” Crandall said. “I knew we would be able to build off of last year’s state run.”
It resulted in a 13-0 record during the regular season for the No. 5-ranked Cougars. It was punctuated with a 13-12 season-finale victory over No. 3-rated Prior Lake.
“It has been an incredible season coaching this group of motivated girls, and they have truly developed a bond that I think will stay with them for years past high school,” Crandall said. “The last game against Prior Lake was a great game to be a part of, against an incredible team for the conference championship.”
The Cougars have a high-powered offense along with a tenacious defensive unit. Senior goalkeeper Kelsey Olsen is allowing only 5.13 goals per game.
“She is an incredible athlete and is able to make tough saves look easy,” Crandall said. “We are able to do so many things defensively with her in net because of her athleticism and intelligence.”
Junior Janna Haeg leads a young, aggressive defensive group. The Cougars have only one senior on defense, captain Annika Tureson.
“The most impressive improvement from last year’s group has been our defense,” Crandall said. The Cougars won the consolation championship in the state tournament a year ago. “They are tenacious, and will hound the ball and players at every second. Rarely do we allow teams to set up in our end.”
Lakeville South features a potent offensive group, headed by senior captain Logan Halvorson. The Central Michigan recruit has amassed over 200 career goals, including 61 this season.
“Logan is the spark plug for our team,” Crandall said. “She is the epitome of a complete player.”
Halvorson gets plenty of help up front from the likes of senior captain Maddy Canney (51 goals) and junior Emma Schaefer (34 goals). Canney also is a Central Michigan recruit. The Cougars have four other players with at least 10 goals.
“A lot of these players have been with me for the duration of our existence,” Crandall said. “We have a lot of four- and five-year players.”
The Cougars also were unbeaten during the regular season in 2013. They were handed their only loss of the season by crosstown rival Lakeville North in the Section 1 championship.
“When we went unbeaten two years ago it was more of a shock,” said Canney, in her fifth season with the team. “It was more expected this year. This team has been in the making for a few years, and is the best team we’ve ever had.”