Farmington midfielder Ashley Steffes spent most of the game darting in and out of the Stillwater defense, setting up teammate and best friend Kamryn Corraro for goals.
So it was somewhat fitting that it was on a pass, rather than a shot, that Steffes' tireless work generated a little luck.
Her pass from behind the Stillwater net bounced off the goalie's stick and deflected into the goal 59 seconds into overtime. It gave the No. 5-seeded Tigers a 10-9 victory over No. 4-seeded Stillwater in the most closely contested quarterfinal game Tuesday in the girls' lacrosse state tournament at Minnetonka High School.
"That was insane," said Steffes, who was credited with the goal. "I was looking for a cutter and I totally thought it was going there. It should have definitely been a turnover. It was crazy."
Stillwater took a 5-2 first-half lead but Farmington (15-2), making its first state tournament appearance, carried play for most of the second half. The Tigers, attacking constantly, rallied twice, finally getting the go-ahead goal from Alex Laube with 1:25 left in the game to take a 9-8 lead.
The Ponies (14-3) were playing without two top players — Olivia Konigson was out because of a knee injury suffered in section play and forward Abby Hagberg injured her shoulder during the game. But they tied the score with eight seconds left in regulation when Gina Jablonski batted in a loose ball in front of the net.
"We can't control the uncontrollable, and that was an uncontrollable," said Corraro, who finished with five goals, most of them on passes from Steffes. "That was unfortunate, but we were super confident because we know we can score."
Prior Lake 16, Maple Grove 6: Almost 20 minutes into the game, No. 2-seeded Prior Lake had seen its lead slip to just one goal at 4-3. This is a team with state championship dreams. Being upset in the quarterfinals was not part of the plan.
The Lakers took a time out, regrouped and scored eight consecutive goals spanning the first and second halves en route to victory over the Crimson.
"We brought them in and said 'Start playing your game,' " Lakers coach Ali Minelli-Fenstermacher said. "We told them to start working with each other instead of just as individuals."
Sarah Pierson, an All-Metro midfielder, said it was simply "talking to each other and pumping each other up. That's really what helped get the goals."
The Lakers' response was swift and decisive. They scored three goals in the final 3:57 of first half, giving them a 7-3 lead at halftime.
"That's what makes you good: Turning it on when you need to," Minelli-Fenstermacher said.
Lexi Peer scored five goals and Kelly Gleason added three for Lakers (16-1). Maple Grove (13-4) got five goals from sophomore Emily Herdine.
Blake 17, Cretin-Derham Hall 10: Playing a patient, ball-control style and sporting its full complement of players, Blake broke out to a comfortable first-half lead and cruised past the Raiders.
The two teams had met early in the season, with Blake taking a 6-5 victory. The No. 3-seeded Bears (13-4) were a much different team this time around, their lineup not riddled with holes because of winter sports commitments.
''Slowly, we've morphed into the kind of team we want to be," Blake coach Sarah Fellows said.
That meant a balanced attack. Blake's Sophie Skallerud and Sara McClanahan scored four goals each and Shannon Ellis and Emily Johnsrud added three apiece.
The Bears also played sound defense, taking a 5-1 lead midway through first half and holding at least a four-goal advantage the rest of the game.
Caitlin O'Gary scored four goals and Megan Reis added three for Cretin-Derham Hall (14-3).
Eden Prairie 18, Blaine 5: As the consensus top high school girls' program in Minnesota, the No. 1-ranked and top tournament seed Eagles took one step closer to living up to their expectations in routing the Bengals.
Brooke Lewis scored five goals, Sammie Morton scored four and Maggie Brown and C.J. Froemming three each for the Eagles, who improved to 16-1.
The victory ran their winning streak over Minnesota teams to 52 games. Loyola Academy (Ill.) has provided the lone blemish on the Eagles' schedule in each of the past three seasons. The last Minnesota team to defeat Eden Prairie was Blake in the 2014 state title game.
Abby Jones scored three goals for Blaine (15-2).