With heavy hearts, the Eden Prairie girls’ lacrosse team captured its third state championship on Saturday. It defeated Lakeville South 14-13 in double overtime at Minnetonka High School.
Junior midfielder Kelly Wolfe scored the game-winning goal with 1 minute, 29 seconds left in a sudden-death double overtime period following a foul near the Cougars goal.
The Eagles all wore blue ribbons in their hair in honor of junior diver and Alpine skier Sydney Galleger, who went into cardiac arrest last week while getting her wisdom teeth removed.
“I was pushing to win for Sydney,” Wolfe said. “I wanted to win it for Eagle Nation.”
Its Eden Prairie’s first state title since 2009 and the first girls’ state title game to go into double overtime since the tournament was first sanctioned by the high school league in 2007.
The two teams went back and forth throughout the game with Cougars senior Logan Halvorson tying the game with 1:09 left to force overtime.
“It’s great to be back [as state champions],” Eden Prairie girls’ lacrosse co-coach Judy Baxter said. “We’re happy to be wearing blue [ribbons, given to the winning team]. It’s been a long time. We’ve had a lot of close battles in those last eight years where we could’ve won, but we let it slip away.”
Lakeville South never regained the lead after scoring the first goal less than two minutes into the game.
The Cougars did tie the game three times in the second half. The Cougars tied the game at 8 in the second half after junior forward Chloe Crosby and senior forward Maddy Canney scored consecutive goals. The Eagles responded with three goals to take an 11-8 lead with 12:28 left.
Lakeville South rallied once again, receiving goals from freshman midfielder Emma Schaefer and Crosby, to tie the game at 12 with 5:58 left.
“It was not our best lacrosse,” Baxter said. “We made some mental errors that were not as we planned. But in the end, we stuck to our gameplan.
“We knew they had the best draw control specialist, and we had to get the ball in play to play the possession game.”
Eden Prairie outshot Lakeville South 23-17 in the game with 11 of their 14 goals unassisted.
Crosby had a game-high four goals on four shots. Senior forward Jessica Lagerquist and sophomore midfielder Sammie Morton led Eden Prairie with three goals each.