The Prior Lake girls soccer team has been on the offensive to open the season.
The Lakers have scored 17 goals in their 3-0 start, which includes a 6-0 home win over Owatonna Aug. 30. Prior Lake also earned an 8-1 home win over Northfield Aug. 27, while opening the season with a 3-1 victory at Chaska Aug. 25.
The Lakers graduated six seniors from last year’s team that finished 4-9-2 overall and 3-5-1 in the South Suburban Conference. Prior Lake lost 6-0 to Edina in the Section 2AAA quarterfinals last year in the first season of three-class soccer across the state.
It was the fifth straight year the Lakers had lost in the first round of the playoffs.
Prior Lake coach Blair Navis is hoping her team can make a bigger impact in the SSC and in Section 2AAA this fall.
“We’re hoping to finish in the top half of our conference and section, and to build on what we learned last season,” Navis said. “Right now, I think we have good team chemistry on and off the field, which will hopefully translate to success on the scoreboard as well.”
In beating Owatonna, junior Isabelle Ohlmann scored three goals to lead the Lakers. Seniors Izzy Everson and Lauren Carpenter and ninth-grader Ellie Ohlmann also had goals.
Against Northfield, sophomore Brooklyn Holmberg scored three times to lead Prior Lake, while Carpenter, Isabelle Ohlmann and Ellie Ohlmann and seniors Reese Weimerskirch and Aubrey Carrigan each scored once.
Isabelle Ohlmann, Ellie Ohlmann and ninth-grader Lilliana Oelrich had Prior Lake’s goals in the win over Chaska.
Isabelle Ohlmann led the girls in goals scored last season with eight, while Weimerskirch and Carpenter each had three goals.
Senior Courtney Williams is back to help anchor the Lakers’ defense, as are sophomore Kate Anderson and junior Keira Olabode. Junior Andrea Reichwald returns in goal, getting the shutout against Owatonna.
Others expected to contribute to the team include ninth-graders Breana Phillips and Gianna Stiehm, sophomore Maya Carney and Hannah Helberg and seniors Lilly Blotsky and Avery Schroeder.
Prior Lake will open the SSC season Sept. 7 at Rosemount. The Irish are ranked No. 1 in the state in the first Class 3A poll released Aug. 29, and are one of two SSC teams ranked, including No. 9 Lakeville North.
The Panthers are Prior Lake’s second SSC game on the road Sept. 15. The Lakers’ first conference home is set for Sept. 20 against Burnsville.
Meanwhile, Section 2AAA has two ranked teams, No. 2 Edina and No. 7 Minnetonka. The rest of the field includes Eden Prairie, Chanhassen, Chaska, Shakopee and Waconia.
The last time Prior Lake played for a section title was in 2014 when they lost 1-0 to Eden Prairie. The last time the Lakers had a winning record was in 2015 when they finished 6-5-6 overall.
The first round of Section 2AAA play is set for Oct. 11 with the semifinals Oct. 13. The higher seed is at home in the first two rounds.
The title game will be played at a neutral site to be determined Oct. 18. Edina is the defending champion.
The Class AAA state tournament will start Oct. 25 with the quarterfinals. The semifinals are Nov. 2 and the title game is Nov. 4 with the final two rounds at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis. Stillwater is the defending champion.
Prior Lake has one state appearance in its history and that was in 2002 in Class A. The Lakers joined the top class in soccer at the start of the 2003-04 school year.