Eastview’s Erik Gage celebrated after scoring one of his three goals against Edina.
The scenario was very familiar to Eastview, and it wasn't going to drop its guard this time.
The Lightning's only loss this season fell on a Tuesday after a big week of victories; its opponent assumed to be average.
Tuesday's boys' lacrosse state semifinal at Chanhassen High School featuring 14-1 Eastview and 7-9-1 Edina, had all the makings of the Lightning's only hiccup.
Playing in its first state tournament, Edina made a late first-half rally and pulled within a goal in the third period. Eastview, however, wouldn't let a previous mistake ruin its chance at a state championship and regrouped for a 15-6 victory.
Eastview will face Eden Prairie in Thursday's state championship game at 8 p.m. at Chanhassen High School.
"This was definitely a similar situation," said Eastview junior Ryan McNamara comparing it to a May 8 loss to Lakeville North. "We realized it and played to win and not to lose."
Eastview was reminded of its blemish when Edina nearly evened the score just moments into the second half. With some verbal encouragement from McNamara and coach Tim Roche, the Lightning quickly reversed any momentum the Hornets had earned. Eight consecutive goals over a 16-minute stretch were more than enough cushion for Eastview to advance.
The fancy footwork and precise passing of McNamara earned him three goals and four assists, while teaming up with Tanner Hamill for quick goals throughout the night.
Hamill and Erik Gage each contributed three goals apiece for Eastview.
"I think the chemistry we have is better than any other team in the state," Hamill said. "We know what [each other] is going to do."
All season Edina had been finding ways to survive. Its 2-6 conference record and sub-.500 season were an afterthought once the playoffs rolled around and the Hornets earned their first state tournament appearance ever.
Survival mode kicked in once again for the group after falling behind 3-0. The Hornets scored three of the final four goals of the first half and the opening goal of the second half to cut their deficit to 6-5.
Then it all fell apart.
"We just lost our mental edge," said senior Danny Regan, who finished with three goals. "We overthought what we were doing and started throwing away passes."
Eden Prairie 15, Totino-Grace 2: Offense quickly became a part of the second semifinal Tuesday night. Eden Prairie scored 64 seconds into the game, adding two more goals within the next 50 seconds.
Eden Prairie's overwhelming defense held Totino-Grace scoreless through the first three periods, before finally giving up a goal midway through the fourth period.
"I feel like our defense has been spot on all year," Eden Prairie goalkeeper Anthony Perkins said. "We had an idea of what they like to do and we shut them down from the start."
Totino-Grace took only four shots on goal compared to Eden Prairie's 27.
Brooks Armitage scored five goals, three in the first half, while Dillon Rudrud added three and Jake Adkins two for Eden Prairie. Seven different players provided the 10 assists.