The last time the Prior Lake boys lacrosse team lost its season opener, it went on to win its third state title in four seasons.
That was back in 2019, when the Lakers fell 7-4 at Minnetonka in their first game.
Third-ranked Prior Lake opened this season April 25 at home against No. 4 Shakopee in South Suburban Conference action, and got off to a great start leading 5-2 midway through second quarter. But the Lakers managed just two more goals the rest of the way in a 12-7 loss.
It’s the first time the Sabers have ever beaten the Lakers. Shakopee has come close the last two years, losing 11-10 in both league games.
Prior Lake, the state runner-up the last two seasons to Benilde-St. Margaret’s, graduated 16 seniors from last year’s 15-win squad, so it may take the Lakers some time to gel.
However, senior Ben Mickett looked to be in midseason form for Prior Lake. He scored five of the Lakers’ seven goals in the loss to the Sabers. He was second on the team in goals scored last year with 37, while adding 24 assists.
Mickett’s fifth goal of the game came early in the third quarter to give the Lakers a 6-5 lead. But the Sabers scored six of the game’s next seven goals, outscoring Prior Lake 4-0 in the fourth quarter.
Juniors Max Anderson and Logan Allen also had goals for the Lakers. Junior Jack Tocko finished with four assists, while senior Luke Bloomer got the start in goal for Prior Lake.
The loss to Shakopee also snapped the Lakers’ 23-game conference win streak that dated back to the 2019 season. There was no 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Prior Lake lost 10-9 to Lakeville North in its second league game that spring, but still went on to win the SSC title with an 8-1 record. The Lakers were 9-0 in league play in 2021 and 7-0 last season.
Prior Lake will now need some help to win a fourth straight league title with the opening loss to Shakopee. But the SSC is strong with five ranked teams, including No. 5 Lakeville North, No. 6 Eastview-Apple Valley and No. 9 Rosemount, so the winner may have one or even two losses.
The Lakers’ next league game is May 2 at home against Eastview-Apple Valley and they will get both Lakeville North and Rosemount on the road May 9 and 18, respectively.
Rosemount and Eastview-Apple Valley are also Section 6 foes. Four teams are ranked from the section, including No. 10 Edina.
The Section 6 playoffs will start May 30 with the first round, while the finals will be June 8. The Lakers have won the last six section crowns, en route to also winning state titles in 2016 and 2018 and taking fifth in 2017.
This year’s state tournament will be June 13, 15 and 17 at two sites, Stillwater and White Bear Lake High Schools.