Trainers advised Eagan junior midfielder Cole Powell to ice an upper-body injury after Thursday's state tournament second semifinal — which he iced with an overtime goal.
Powell's goal less then one minute into overtime gave Eagan a 12-11 victory over Mahtomedi in an emotional game. Each team enjoyed a pair of three-goal surges. No. 1 seed Eagan (17-1) had a goal late in regulation waved off and No. 4 seed Mahtomedi (16-2) saw a three-goal lead in the fourth quarter disappear.
"That intensity is something I haven't felt ever, really," Powell said. "This game was the closest we had all season and probably one of the toughest we had all season."
Eagan battled back from an 11-8 deficit early in the fourth quarter and tied the score 11-11 on a Brandon Wuertz goal with 4:13 to play. Junior Joe Diffley thought he put the Wildcats ahead with about 16 seconds to play but a crease violation nullified the goal.
On to overtime, where Mahtomedi won the faceoff but quickly turned over the ball. With Wuertz drawing double-teams all night, Powell anticipated being free around the net. Unexpected, however, was him playing the hero role.
"I thought he was going to shoot because he looked open to me," Powell said. "But he dished it and I just had to turn quick and shoot."
Benilde-St. Margaret's 6, Wayzata 5: Zero goals in the second half doesn't sound like a winning formula. Yet Benilde-St. Margaret's made it work and weathered Wayzata's late surge.
The determined Trojans, who upset No. 2 seed Eden Prairie in the quarterfinals, netted four goals in the final quarter, the last with 24.6 seconds left. But the Red Knights, the No. 3 seed, survived and advanced to their first championship game since winning the 2011 title.
"When they started scoring we started getting a little slow," Red Knights junior attackman Eric Weber said. "And we made a couple of bad plays on the offense end."
The teams assumed different identities in the first half. Wayzata opened the scoring then Benilde-St. Margaret's scored six unanswered goals for a 6-1 halftime lead.
"We were not playing timid at all," said Weber, who scored twice for the Red Knights (16-2). "We were just relaxed and playing lacrosse. We were in our sets, everyone was moving and getting touches. That's when we're playing our best lacrosse."
Wayzata (12-5) saved its best for last, getting two goals from sophomore attackman Brayden Nelson during its fourth-quarter rush.
"We played well in the fourth quarter," Trojans coach Chad Herr said. "We just started playing together, working as a team a little bit better and limiting our turnovers."