The Prior Lake boys soccer team is still trying to find its way on the offensive end with the playoffs nearing.
The Lakers snapped a seven-game losing streak with back-to-back home victories — 1-0 over Chanhassen Sept. 17 and 4-0 over Burnsville Sept. 20 in South Suburban Conference play.
But Prior Lake (3-9 overall, 1-5 in the SSC) followed with a pair of conference defeats at home — 3-0 versus Eastview Sept. 22 and 3-2 against Farmington Sept. 27.
Prior Lake had just three wins last fall (3-11-2) and had a mark of 1-7-1 in the SSC, so it’s been a tough go for the program the last few years. The Lakers were 4-6-2 in 2020, the COVID-19-shortened season that had section play, but no state tournament.
It’s no secret what has slowed down the Prior Lake program the last few years — lack of scoring punch. The Lakers have 10 goals in 12 games this fall and have scored just 37 goals in 40 games over the last three years.
It’s tough to contend in the SSC and the highly competitive Section 2AAA when averaging less than a goal per game.
Section 2AAA has two teams ranked, No. 5 Minnetonka (7-1-3) and No. 6 Edina (8-2-1). The rest of the field includes Eden Prairie (6-4-2), Waconia (4-2-2), Chaska (3-5-3), Chanhassen (3-6-1) and Shakopee (3-9).
Prior Lake is 1-3 against the section with its win over Chaska (1-0) and its losses to Edina (2-0), Waconia (3-2) and Shakopee (3-1).
The first round of Section 2AAA play starts Oct. 11. The semifinals are Oct. 13 with the title game Oct. 18. Edina is the defending champion.
Last fall, Prior Lake lost in an overtime shootout in the section quarterfinals to Eden Prairie. The game was tied 1-1 after regulation and the two overtime periods before the Eagles won the shootout 4-3.
In 2017, Prior Lake beat Chanhassen in the Section 2AA final to earn the program’s first-ever state berth as a Class 2A program. The Lakers’ other state berth came in 2000 in Class A.
Soccer went to three classes last fall.
Meanwhile, in Prior Lake’s win over Burnsville, junior Layne Pforr scored two goals to lead the team, while seniors Sam Kohler and Alex Carlson both had one goal.
Senior Rylan Mathison, Luke Dahlen and Ben Pascanik and junior Noah Meschke each picked up an assist. Senior Liam McVety made eight saves in goal for the shutout.
McVety had two saves in the shutout win over Chanhassen. Dahlen scored the game’s lone goal in the first half.