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PL Girls Lacrosse Hopes To Return To State Tournament Form

By Tom Schardin, 04/20/24, 9:15PM CDT


Can the Prior Lake girls lacrosse team get over its recent section finals struggles?

The Lakers have lost in the Section 6 title championship game the last two seasons, including falling 10-9 at home to Edina last spring. Prior Lake finished the season with a 13-2 overall record.

There’s plenty of talent back, but the team did lose its top-three scorers and its No. 1 goalie.

This year’s squad will get help from Senior Kayleigh Sandell, who produced 37 goals and 12 assists last year for the Lakers, along with senior Sadie Chappuis, who finished with 15 goals and 20 assists last season.

They are also captains, along with senior Piper Green.

“With graduating just four seniors — whose shoes will be hard to fill with the talent they brought to the squad — we have just a few gaps to fill on the team,” Prior Lake coach Heather Pierson said.

Seniors Lauryn Knutson and Lana Disrud, juniors Emerson Mattox, Addie Christianson, Lauren Jonas, Abby Grove, Tali Baldzicki, Chrissy Sabby and Madeline Sazama, sophomores Annika Meyer, Keeley Mohling and Britney Pinkowski, eighth grader Hollie Bouressa and ninth grade goalie Madelyn Beaulieu are all expected to contribute.

Junior Sophia Basile will also be one to watch as she recovers from a knee injury. She had 15 goals last year, and has been working her way back to playing.

Baldzicki had 13 goals and seven assists last year, while Grove finished with 11 goals and six assists and Mohling had six goals and three assists.

Pierson said the team’s theme this season is called “unspoken” — everyone working towards one common goal.

“That goal is to take advantage of every practice and every game and allow for failures to be a chance to learn and successes as something to build off of,” she said. “Their hope is to be back at state this season.

“Section 6 is tough to get through and as we’ve seen teams that come out of Section 6 in the last five years have done extremely well at state,” Pierson added. “We are hungrier than ever this season and look forward to another thriller season.”

Prior Lake won back-to-back state titles in 2019 and 2021, and were state qualifiers in 2015, 2016 and 2017. There was no 2020 season due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Both of the Lakers’ losses last season were by one goal. The other one was a 14-13 loss to Lakeville South in South Suburban Conference play.

Prior Lake finished 6-1 in league play, a game back of champion Lakeville South.

The Lakers will open the season April 13 at home versus perennial power Stillwater and will get a rematch with Edina at home April 18. Prior Lake’s first conference game is set for April 20 at Shakopee.

The regular season ends May 23 at Minnetonka. The first round of Section 6 play starts May 28, followed by the quarterfinals May 30, the semifinals June 3 and the title game June 5.

The higher seed is at home throughout the playoffs.

Other teams in the field include Rosemount, Bloomington Jefferson, Apple Valley, Eastview/Eagan, Holy Angels, Kennedy/Burnsville, Minneapolis and Shakopee.

This year’s state tournament is set for June 11, 13 and 15 at Chanhassen and Eden Prairie High Schools. Benilde-St. Margaret’s is the defending champion, beating Edina 11-10 in last year’s title game.