Staff Directory 6370599

David La Vaque

Reporter | High school sports
Phone: 612-673-7574

David La Vaque is a high school sports reporter for the Star Tribune. 

La Vaque previously spent 18 months covering high school sports at the Woodbury Bulletin. La Vaque has written frequently about Minnesota State High School League news, football, hockey, lacrosse and track and field. A native of St. Paul, La Vaque lives in Woodbury. He graduated from the University of Minnesota with a degree in Communication Studies, Rhetoric and Applied Business. La Vaque is researching a book on the history of the Minnesota state high school hockey tournament. In his free time, he enjoys running and biking and listening to music.
Recent content from David La Vaque
Austin FC defender Adam Lundqvist headed the ball past Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane during the first half of Austin’s 2-1 victory o

Loons fall short in 2-1 loss to Austin despite furious final-minutes attack

A losing team deserving better is a common lament in soccer circles, but Minnesota United made a strong case Wednesday at Austin.
Austin FC midfielder Sebastián Driussi, left, contested for the ball against Vancouver Whitecaps defender Javain Brown on April 15, 2023.

Minnesota United set to take on Austin FC, perhaps injured star

Sebastián Driussi has been injured but could make an appearance in Wednesday's game against the Loons.
Bakaye Dibassy, left, and Kervin Arriaga celebrated a goal at Allianz Field on April 16, 2022.

Reynoso, Dibassy have first full workout of season with Loons

Minnesota United team training Tuesday grew more crowded by two with Emanuel Reynoso logging his first full session after being suspended and Bakaye Dibassy closing in on a return for his 2022 leg injury.
Minnesota United forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane showed off his goalie skills after Thursday’s practice in Blaine.

Minnesota United has come to rely on Hlongwane's good vibes

Bongi Hlongwane has five goals in 16 games and has galvanized the team with his personality, heading into Saturday's home game against Real Salt Lake.
Columbian midfielder Carlos Andrés Gómez was a Loons target before signing with Real Salt Lake. He has one goal and three assists in 13 games this s

Minnesota United preps for another tight battle with Real Salt Lake

The Loons will be back at home for Saturday night's game against their MLS Western Conference rivals.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso (10) practiced with the team at the National Sports Center in Blaine on Thursday.

Reynoso takes another step in odyssey back to Loons lineup

The two-time All-Star practiced with his Minnesota United teammates for the first time this season, keeping the session light as planned.
Minnesota Aurora midfielder Hannah Adler scored a first-half goal against Rochester FC goalkeeper Carlota Alcalde in the team’s 5-0 season-opening v

Minnesota Aurora open season in fine form with 5-0 victory

Forward Catherine Rapp scored her team's first and third goals, and former goalkeeper Sarah Fuller — now a sponsor relations staff member — was on hand to support them against Rochester FC.
Houston Dynamo’s Nelson Quiñónes challenged Minnesota United’s Kemar Lawrence for the ball during the second half of a U.S. Open Cup soccer matc

Undermanned Loons out of U.S. Open Cup after 4-0 loss to Houston

Loons midfielder Kervin Arriaga drew his second yellow card in the 38th minute and the resulting ejection left Minnesota with 10 men for the remainder of the blowout. Corey Baird netted a hat trick for the Dynamo.
Minnesota United midfielder Emanuel Reynoso, right, played in the MLS All-Star Game at Allianz Field last Aug. 10.

Loons midfielder Lod out 4 to 6 months; Reynoso could start training this week

Loons coach Adrian Heath wouldn't rule Lod out for the season Monday, while Emanuel Reynoso readies to participate in team training.
Jordan Hecht and Hayden Bills of Rosemount are throwers with achievements and bigger goals.

Rosemount throwers chase records in state's top track and field meets

Hayden Bills and Jordan Hecht are state champions with eyes on other prizes, a pursuit that continues Friday in the True Team state meet.
Blaine’s Kathryn VanArragon, surrounded by competitors at the state meet last spring, is going through “really busy weeks” thanks to a golf sche

Weather calls the question: Should high school golf be a fall sport?

Switching seasons is a hot-button topic because of cold, wet weather that has shortened the 2023 season. But would better weather be enough to offset some of the issues the change would cause?
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath. on April 1 in St. Louis.

Woes continue for Loons in 3-0 loss at Sporting Kansas City

Saturday's shutout loss drops the Loons to 3-5-3 on the season and without a victory on six consecutive MLS games. Minnesota also is now 0-8 all time in league games at Kansas City.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s Caio Stephens (left) and Lakeville South’s Sivanna O’Brien are prominent players on undefeated lacrosse teams.

Challenges loom for undefeated high school lacrosse state champs

The Lakeville South girls team takes on unbeaten Benilde-St. Margaret's on Friday. The Red Knights boys team has state tournament teams ahead.
Bobby Cowan of Edina and Chloe Boreen of Hill-Murray are each headed to St. Thomas for college hockey.

Offseason? 5 prep hockey stars choose colleges, 3 top coaches retire

The hockey offseason news cycle slows but never stops and never puts its skates in the basement or garage until late fall. Here's what's been up since the state tournaments ended.
Minnetonka’s Claire Kohler (left) and Rosemount’s Hayden Bills had their moments at the Hamline Elite Meet.

Five metro moments from track and field's best at the Hamline Elite Meet

Outstate involvement always marks the meet, but don't miss what some Twin Cities athletes achieved over the weekend in the annual event at Hamline.
Minnesota United’s Luis Amarilla lamented a missed scoring opportunity in the first half of the Loons’ scoreless tie with FC Dallas at Allianz Fie

Loons play scoreless draw; Heath addresses report about absent star

The Loons are still winless at Allianz Field. Afterward, in addition to the tie against FC Dallas, coach Adrian Heath addressed the latest failed effort to get Emanuel Reynoso to rejoin the club.
Girls in the 1,600-meter race cast an image on rain water at the Hamline Elite Meet.

Maple Grove's Jordyn Borsch emphasizes the elite in Hamline Elite Meet

Borsch won the 100, 200 and 400 at the annual gathering of top high school athletes.
FC Dallas forward Jesús Ferreira (10) danced after scoring against Real Salt Lake on April 15 in Frisco, Texas.

Minnesota United look to snap losing streak Sunday against FC Dallas

The Loons defeated FC Dallas 1-0 in the season opener on the road, but that was back on Feb. 25.
Minnesota United defender Michael Boxall (15) is part of a back line that has helped minimize shots against goalkeeper Dayne St. Clair.

How Minnesota United developed a top-five MLS defense

The Loons, who are riding a three-game MLS losing streak, have allowed just eight goals in eight MLS games this season.
Loons forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane tangled with Orlando City’s Facundo Torres when the teams met April 15 at Allianz Field.

Minnesota United readies for U.S. Open Cup play Tuesday at Detroit City FC

The Loons are riding a three-game losing streak in MLS play and will look to rebound against a team from the United Soccer League.
Minnesota United head coach Adrian Heath watched from the sidelines during a game earlier this month.

Loons find familiar fate in Seattle, another loss to Sounders

Albert Rusnák's goal in the 79th minute led to more of the same for the Loons. They have now lost eight in a row in Seattle, without a victory or tie at Lumen Field in its Major League Soccer existence.
Seattle Sounders forward Raúl Ruidíaz, foreground, delivered the game-winning penalty kick in the MLS All-Star game against Liga MX at Allianz Field

Loons face a Seattle team likely missing star Ruidíaz

The Sounders are 5-2-1 overall and 3-0-1 at home, but Raúl Ruidíaz has a hamstring injury after playing all 90 minutes Wednesday for the U.S. national team.
Loons forward Bongokuhle Hlongwane took a shot in the second half of Saturday’s 2-1 loss to Orlando City at Allianz Field. He scored his second goal

Minnesota United coach Heath buoyed by team's latest effort

Adrian Heath studied the video from Saturday's home loss to Orlando City and said, "I actually think that's the best we've played."
Maple Grove’s Audrey Mlekoday found room to run against Centennial on Thursday at Maple Grove, and Anna Jarpey worked to close the gap. Maple Grove

The lacrosse list: 20 metro boys and girls players you should know

Change starts on the sidelines, where both defending state champions will have new coaches. On the field, here are 10 boys and 10 girls to know about, as well as two games involving finalists in last year's state tournaments.
Richlu Tudee of Champlin Park and Jordyn Borsch of Maple Grove each won two sprint state titles last season.

High school track: 10 athletes to watch, 2 meets not to miss

Two elite sprinters from 2022 are back for an encore and a college-bound soccer goalie is looking for her third state discus title. Our look at the best and fastest — and two big meets where the elites are set to compete.
Loons midfielder Kervin Arriaga (33) battled New York Red Bulls defender Kyle Duncan for possession during the Loons’ 1-1 draw in their March 11 hom

Midfielder Arriaga keeps undefeated Minnesota United dancing

The Loons are 3-0-2 heading into Saturday night's game at Chicago. After some stops and starts last season, Arriaga has been healthy and productive.
Minnesota United midfielder Robin Lod (17) cut back to get around New York Red Bulls defender Kyle Duncan during the Loons’ March 11 home opener.

Undefeated Minnesota United to face Chicago Fire squad unbeaten at home

The Fire have played three home matches, all draws. Loons newcomer Sang Bin Jeong could make his MLS debut.
Loons coach Adrian Heath, left, and technical director Mark Watson, right, introduced newcomer Sang Bin Jeong on March 22.

Sang Bin Jeong settles in with Loons, awaiting MLS debut

The South Korean striker is with his new team, with a chance to play this Saturday at Chicago.
Taylor Voigt of Hill-Murray, making one of the runs that made her a state champion in early February at Giants Ridge in Biwabik, Minn.

Calm walk to downhill fury makes Voigt Metro Girls Alpine Skier of Year

A freshman, Taylor Voigt won a state championship for herself and helped her Hill-Murray team win one. Among her goals this season were "to help my team and to have more fun than we were having in the past."
Benon Brattebo of Eden Prairie, the Metro Boys Nordic Skier of the Year, embraced Blaine’s Ben Lewis after Brattebo beat Lewis by a boot for the sta

Photo finish among friends boosted Brattebo to Metro Boys Nordic Skier of Year

Benon Brattebo of Eden Prairie separated himself with a stretch at the finish line for the state championship and capped a race that started with the three top finishers making a pact based on friendship.
Wayzata’s Jackson McAndrew, the Trojans’ standout late in the game and through overtime, dealt with a challenge from Park Center’s CJ O’Hara.

Wayzata yanks Class 4A boys basketball title from Park Center

The Trojans won in overtime, with guard Jackson McAndrew scoring 13 of their final 14 points.
Jerome Williams headed to the basket during his 26-point game for Minnehaha Academy against Maple River.

Minnehaha Academy keeps Maple River just out of range

The Eagles cut the deficit to two, but the Redhawks held on and avenged a regular-season loss.
Holy Family’s Boden Kapke swung a hook shot over Eden Valley-Watkins defender Noah Stommes.

Two tall: Big men propel Holy Family past Eden Valley-Watkins

Boden Kapke and Collin Mulholland, each 6-11, piled up points, rebounds and blocked shots.
Wayzata’s Hayden Tibbits (1) worked a layup past the reach of White Bear Lake’s Wyatt Hawks in the first half.

One big burst vaults Wayzata over White Bear Lake, into 4A semifinals

The Trojans made a 16-point run in the first half and sent the Bears into the consolation round.
Smiles made the point that Benilde-St. Margaret’s had won a state championship Saturday.

Benilde-St. Margaret's shoves back, wins Class 3A championship

State tournament first-timer Stewartville rallied into the lead during the second half.
Kendall McGee (30) of Benilde-St. Margaret’s competed for a loose ball with Jordyn Johnson of DeLaSalle during the quarterfinals.

Benilde-St. Margaret's wins without Kendall McGee and for her

McGee, a sophomore point guard, was injured during the semifinals and on crutches for the final.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s Olivia Olson (left) and Stewartville’s Keeley Steele.

Three angles: Breaking down the Class 3A girls basketball championship game

It's Benilde-St. Margaret's, likely lacking key guard Kendall McGee, vs. tournament first-timer Stewartville.
Stewartville players savored their upset of top seed Becker in the Class 3A semifinals on Thursday at Williams Arena.

No. 1 seed Becker upset by Stewartville rally in girls' 3A semis

Becker's streak of four state title games came to an end with its loss. By ending that streak with a one-point win, Stewartville will play Benilde-St. Margaret's for the 3A title.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s Zahara Bishop challenged Alexandria’s MaCee Linow on a shot Thursday.

Benilde-St. Margaret's moves past Alexandria and into Class 3A final

The Red Knights, seeded second, will play fourth seed Stewartville for the championship.
Lakeville North guard Gabby Betton wrapped an arm around Stillwater forward Elise Dieterle on Wednesday.

Late layup and steal boosts Stillwater past Lakeville North 67-65 in 4A

The Ponies' Amy Thompson made a layup with 11 seconds left for the winning points before a teammate sealed the game with clutch defense.
Taylor Woodson faded away for a basket against Roseville. The senior finished with 23 points for Hopkins.

Hopkins rolls over Roseville and into 4A girls basketball semifinals

The defending state champion Royals led by 30 points at halftime. Their top two scorers had more point than the entire Roseville team in the 81-40 runaway.
Jackson Nevers of Edina (left) and Hagen Burrows of Minnetonka made the early list of players to watch for in 2023-24.

The early list: 15 metro-area boys hockey players to watch for in 2023-24

Five of them played for state championships this season and will be eligible for another try.
Jayson Shaugabay of Warroad (left) was selected Mr. Hockey, and teammate Hampton Slukynsky won the Frank Brimsek Award that goes to the best senior go

In rare sweep, Warroad teammates win state's top boys hockey awards

The Warriors duo of Jayson Shaugabay and Hampton Slukynsky swept the senior prizes, a feat accomplished only one other time.
Minnetonka players celebrated their victory and state title Saturday.

Minnetonka overcomes Edina, grabs Class 2A boys hockey state title

With a run through three difficult games, the Skippers secured the program's second championship.
Minnetonka forward Jack Sand controlled the puck as he was pursued by Andover defenseman Drew Law during the second period.

Minnetonka's discipline, depth stops Andover to reach 2A title game

Coach Sean Goldsworthy wrote, "Discipline is going to win this game," on the board in the locker room before Friday's semifinal against defending champion Andover.
Edina forward Ryan Flaherty pounded a goal against Cretin-Derham Hall goaltender Leo Miller during the third period.

Edina rolls over Cretin-Derham Hall, into Class 2A boys hockey final

The Hornets will play for the championship in a season they began with three losses in a row.
Andover forward Gavyn Thoreson crashed into Lakeville South goaltender Jack Hochsprung while he was defended by Ashton Dahms in the first period. Thor

Andover defeats Lakeville South, rolls into Class 2A semifinals

The defending champion Huskies got a hat trick from forward Gavyn Thoreson.
Minnetonka forward Sam Scheetz rejoiced after a shot by teammate John Stout (not pictured) slipped past Hill-Murray goaltender Jack Erickson to give t

Top seed Minnetonka endures overtime to defeat Hill-Murray

John Stout's goal lifted the Skippers into the Class 2A boys hockey tournament semifinals.
Teammates piled on in celebration after Avery Anderson scored in overtime for Orono.

'Showtime' nets dramatic goal for Orono to beat Northfield in overtime

Avery Anderson, known by Orono teammates as "Showtime" because of his flamboyant play, took part in a good old-fashioned greasy goal to send his team to Friday's 1A semifinals.
Warroad forward Carson Pilgrim celebrates after scoring against St. Cloud Cathedral on Wednesday. He finished with a hat trick.

Warroad standouts sink St. Cloud Cathedral in 1A boys hockey quarterfinals

Cathedral stood strong for two periods before the top seed's top players got going.
David Wolsfeld (4) has 11 goals and 28 assists for Mahtomedi this season.

Eight teams, four games, one day: Previewing Class 1A quarterfinals

Take a matchup-by-matchup look at the facts behind the squads in the Class 1A boys hockey tournament.
Brody Finnegan has been on a scoring tear for Orono late in the season.

Arriving from Dubai: Orono's Finnegan took a desert route to state

Finnegan's father and mother served in the Army, and the family lived 10 years in the United Arab Emirates.
Clockwise from left: Jason Shaugabay leads the charge for Warroad, Carson Pilgrim helps with scoring, Hampton Slukynsky mans the goal and Jay Hardwick

Old-school education: Warroad hockey shows less is indeed more

Boys hockey coach Jay Hardwick took a lesson about taking a break from practice that surprised him because it came from his own intense coach.
Wayzata goalie Will Ingemann, the Star Tribune’s Metro Player of the Year in boys hockey, stopped 92% of shots faced over three seasons as a varsity

Wayzata's Will Ingemann: First goalie to be boys Metro Player of the Year

A three-year starter, Ingemann personified goaltending excellence. He allowed an average of less than two goals per game during his career and has aready made a D-I commitment, a rarity for a high school goalie.
The Star Tribune’s All-Metro boys hockey first team gathered for a portrait at sunset Feb. 25 on the backyard rink of Tom Schoolmeesters in Circle P

Star Tribune's All-Metro hockey: Our first team and best of the rest

The first-teamers are five seniors and a junior, and all of them are lined up to play in NCAA Division I. We also have the 16 players who were selected to the second and third teams.
Minnetonka players, from left, Liam Hupka, Ashton Schultz and Javon Moore celebrated the 2-1 double-overtime victory Thursday against Chanhassen that

Minnetonka lands Class 2A's top seed in boys hockey state tournament

The Skippers have six victories against teams in the field. Warroad is the No. 1 seed in Class 1A.
Hill-Murray’s Simon Seidl and Casper Lang (28) converged on Gentry Academy’s Quinn O’Connor during Friday’s game.

Victory over Gentry Academy vaults Hill-Murray into boys hockey state tournament

The Pioneers, with a record of 14-13-1, will make their 33rd appearance at state.
Bradley Walker (left) leads Orono in goals and points, and Avery Anderson leads in assists.

Two goals in the season's first 24 seconds? Just a start for Orono hockey

After the boys hockey season got off to a blazing start, Orono coach Sean Fish and his players have a big finish in mind, too — a trip to state.
Minnetonka players, including forward Javon Moore (22), left of center, celebrated their 2-1 overtime victory against Chanhassen.

Transfer student scores section game-winner for Minnetonka to beat former school

Alex Lunski led Chanhassen in goals as a freshman. Now a junior at Minnetonka, he kept his former teammates from their ultimate goal by scoring in the second overtime to give the Skippers a 2-1 win in the Section 2AA final.
Goalie Kam Hendrickson and leading scorers (from top) Jack Christ, Gavin Uhlenkamp and Caden Lee are pushing on without an injured teammate.

A teammate down, Chanhassen forges on in boys hockey postseason

The Storm lost Tyler Smith to a broken collarbone in the last game of the regular season. But they've battled back and will make their first trip to state if they beat Minnetonka tonight.
Edina’s players met at the net to enjoy their victory and the state berth that came with it.

Edina tops Wayzata for section title after recent 7-0 loss to Trojans

Edina senior goaltender Robbie Clarkowski perfectly summarized his feelings about the seven-goal loss to Wayzata; "That one stung," he said.
Moorhead has been propelled by forward Aaron Reierson (left) and goalie Kai Weigel this season.

Sudden player exits in Moorhead makes flexibility a strength for Spuds

A snowstorm in northwestern Minnesota is the latest test in a Moorhead Spuds season turned challenging by four players leaving. It's the opening action in our 51 Hours of Fury reports that lead up to the state tournament.
The future of girls hockey shows in (clockwise from upper left) Northfield’s Ayla Puppe, Hill-Murray’s Grace Zhan, Andover’s Cailin Mumm and Edi

The early list: 15 top girls hockey players to watch out for in 2023-24

The upcoming senior class doesn't have the depth of this year's group, but the top players are quite good. Here are 12 skaters and three goalies whose names you'll want to know.
Edina’s goaltender Uma Corniea (left) and Andover  center Ella Boerger, shown during the Class 2A semifinals Friday.

Edina's Uma Corniea, Andover's Ella Boerger win girls hockey awards

Corniea was selected Senior Goalie of the Year, and Boerger was chosen as Ms. Hockey.
Gentry Academy defenseman JuliAnna Gazdik (10) and forward Elsa Myers (12), left to right, celebrate with their teammates after defeating Andover 4-1

Gentry Acad. wins 2A girls hockey by beating another higher seed

The Stars didn't wilt under their own expectations on beating Andover 4-1 for the title. Gentry Academy showed the poise of a roster with 11 seniors.
Gentry Academy’s players went to the glass to celebrate their overtime victory over Minnetonka.

Top-seeded Minnetonka falls in overtime to Gentry Acad. in 2A semis

Fourth-seeded Gentry Academy took down a Skippers team that has eight players committed to Division I hockey program next season and was last year's runner-up.
Andover forward Isa Goettl leaped into her shot after she was tripped up while challenging Edina goaltender Uma Corniea.

Andover again gets the best of Edina, reaches 2A girls hockey final

The third meeting of the powers this season went as the others did: in the Huskies' favor.
The finalists for the Mr. Hockey Award.

Ten finalists for Mr. Hockey and three for goalie award are revealed

The winners of the awards for the state's top seniors will be revealed at a banquet March 12.
Gentry forward Cara Sajevic scored a goal against Moorhead goaltender Taylor Kressin in the first period.

Gentry Acad. hammers Moorhead, sets up clash with No. 1 Tonka

The Spuds were making their first state tournament appearance since 2006 while the suburban charter school was in for the third straight year.
Rosemount’s Aubrey Finn (44) and Andover’s Ella Thoreson collided in the neutral zone in the first period Thursday.

Rosemount builds on success with girls hockey state appearance

In a range of sports, the Irish are competing for championships and winning some.
Minnetonka’s Ruby Rauk, left, scored a goal against Centennial/Spring Lake Park goaltender Kaitlin Groess in the first period Thursday.

No. 1 seed Minnetonka escapes with 3-2 win in Class 2A quarterfinals

A goal in the final minute by Lindzi Avar advanced the top-seeded Skippers past Centennial/Spring Lake Park in a quarterfinal round in which the other games were all lopsided shutouts.
South St. Paul goalie Delaney Norman sprawled to make a save in the second period against Fergus Falls.

After 70 scoreless minutes, S. St. Paul tops Fergus Falls in 1A girls hockey

Sarah Wincentsen's goal ended the final game of the Class 1A girls quarterfinals in the second overtime after Fergus Falls goalie Ana Jyrkas stopped the first 40 shots on goal by the Packers.
Rylee Bartz of Warroad went face to face with Albert Lea goalie Jayda Moyer in the first period Wednesday.

Warroad overwhelms Albert Lea 15-1 in girls hockey state quarterfinal

The Warriors set a tournament record with 15 goals and outshot the Tigers 67-7.
Gentry Academy’s Cara Sajevic controlled the puck from the center of the action during the section final against Hill-Murray.

Problem for Gentry Academy: Rival schools refusing to schedule team

Some hockey coaches are expressing displeasure with the Vadnais Heights charter school by refusing to put the Stars on their regular-season schedules. "Their kids are skating when mine are in calculus," one said.
From left: Stella Retrum of Maple Grove, Josie Hemp of Minnetonka, Ava Lindsay of Minnetonka, Ellah Hause of Hill-Murray, Isa Goettl of Andover and Um

Who made All-Metro girls hockey? The top six and the rest of the list

Three of the first-team players are headed to the Gophers, and all in the top 12 who have committed are headed to NCAA Division I.