Hudson players hoist their championship trophies after beating St. Louis Park in the MBSLA championship game. Photo by Loren Nelson
Instead of the tired “We’re number one! We’re number one!” chant, Hudson put a territorial twist on an old tradition after winning its first MBSLA state championship.
“Seven-one-five! Seven-one-five!” was Hudson’s victory cry after beating St. Louis Park 9-5 on Saturday, June 8, at Minneapolis Washburn High School.
Turns out that 715 is the area code for Hudson, the lone Wisconsin team competing in the Minnesota Boys’ Scholastic Lacrosse Association. That’s right, a Wisconsin team just won a Minnesota state championship.
“We get a lot of crap, ‘Well, who do you guys play?’ ” Hudson coach Rich Grinstead said. “ ‘Well, we play all Minnesota teams.’ So we take a little bit of pride in being the only Wisconsin team in the league.
“It will be a little weird with Hudson on the trophy with all the great Minnesota teams that have won it in the past.”
Because most all of the Wisconsin club lacrosse programs are located in the extreme southern and eastern portions of the state, Hudson plays in the much more travel-friendly MBSLA. Four-hour bus rides to play Wisconsin teams are replaced by 30-minute trips to the Twin Cities to play club squads.
One of those journeys included a game against St. Paul. Hudson freshman Will Reece remembers the Celts chanting their area code after each of their goals.
“So we had to get them back,” Reece said.
Hudson's Brandon Schwartz (15) leaps to celebrate a second-half goal with Taren Motte. Photo by Loren Nelson
Hudson’s early season game against St. Paul was on a Monday. Grinstead said that by Friday he had received a custom-ordered shipment of “715” stickers.
“Yep, I have mine on the back of my helmet,” said Reece, who scored two second-half goals against the Orioles.
Hudson started its lacrosse program in 2008, more than 10 years after Hopkins won the MBSLA’s first championship. High school lacrosse in Hudson is an even more recent phenomenon, and success did not come instantly at any level.
“I remember our first year, we didn’t win a game,” Hudson freshman defenseman Gabe Franck said. “To being state champs now ... it’s been a long journey, but we finally did it.”
The undersized Franck drew the game’s toughest assignment. He spent much of the night battling hulking St. Louis Park sophomore Matt Harkema, one of the MBSLA’s best pure goal scorers.
Harkema scored two goals in the opening two minutes and had another by halftime, but he was shut out the rest of the way.
“He only had about 100 pounds on me,” Franck said. “But you have to get low and keep on fighting.”
That no-quit attitude was evident all night. After its shaky start, Hudson slowly took control by limiting its turnovers and winning most of the battles for loose balls. St. Louis Park, coming off an emotional semifinal win over previously unbeaten Duluth on Friday, appeared to run out of gas as the second half wore on.
Motivation wasn’t hard to manufacture, Grinstead said. There were those disappointing playoff exits the previous two seasons. And, of course, the whole Wisconsin versus Minnesota rivalry.
“We have to play with a little bit of a chip on our shoulder every once in a while,” he said. “That’s just kind of one thing that has kept us going all year is the whole us-against-the-world kind of thing.”
-- Loren Nelson
Hudson's Brandon Schwartz beats St. Louis Park goaltender Will Harkema for a second-half goal. Photo by Loren Nelson
2013 -- Hudson
2012 -- Delano
2011 -- MontiQuois
2010 -- St. Louis Park
2009 -- Orono
2008 -- St. Louis Park
2007 -- White Bear Lake
2006 -- Blake
2005 -- Blake
2004 -- Eden Prairie
2003 -- Bloomington Jefferson
2002 -- Roseville
2001 -- Roseville
2000 -- Bloomington Jefferson
1999 -- Robbinsdale Cooper
1998 -- Hopkins
1997 -- Hopkins
Freshman Will Reece scored twice and added an assist – all in the second half – as No. 1-ranked Hudson rallied to beat St. Louis Park 9-5 to win the Minnesota Boys’ Scholastic Lacrosse Association state championship and complete an unbeaten season on Saturday, June 8, at Minneapolis Washburn High School.
The state title was the first for Hudson (12-0), which trailed 3-0 after the first quarter and 4-3 at halftime.
Junior McKay Potter also scored twice for Hudson, and senior Brandon Schwartz added a goal and three assists.
Hudson players chanted “Seven-One-Five!” after the victory, a tribute to their Wisconsin area code. It was the first title game appearance for the team, which went 8-0 in the regular season – including two lopsided wins over St. Louis Park – before reeling off four playoff victories. Hudson is the only Wisconsin-based team competing in the MBSLA.
St. Louis Park, making its sixth straight MBSLA title game appearance, got two goals from sophomore Matt Harkema in the opening two minutes. Senior David Diedrich also scored for the Orioles (12-3) in the first quarter. All three of St. Louis Park’s losses came against Hudson.
Harkema finished with three goals for St. Louis Park. Junior Carlos Siguenza also scored for the Orioles.
Potter scored both his goals in the third quarter as Hudson took control by outscoring St. Louis Park 4-1.
-- Loren Nelson
1. Brandon Schwartz, Hudson
The senior was the ultimate playmaker. He had three assists, all to different players, and even scored a goal of his own. With leading scorer Taren Motte having a quiet -- by his standards -- night, Hudson needed other players to step up, and Schwartz was creating scoring opportunities all game.
2. Will Reece, Hudson
The freshman was Hudson's long-range sniper. Both of Reece's goals were from the perimeter with defenders in his face. His height gave him the advantage -- and he still has plenty of time to grow.
3. McKay Potter, Hudson
Potter scored the opening goal of the third quarter, tying the game. He then scored again in the third giving Hudson the lead for good. Potter's clean faceoff wins gave Hudson many possessions, leading to its second-half dominance.
-- Trevor Squire