Lakeville North attempted to defend against Blake's Anne Slusser as she advanced the ball.
Each member of the Blake girls’ lacrosse team wrote her jersey number on their lower left legs for Saturday’s state championship game, a tradition started last season.
Junior midfielder Lydia Sutton also brought back a personal acronym, writing the letters DBDT on her left hand. It stood for “Draw Blood, Draw Tears,” and she did both leading the Bears to a fourth consecutive and fifth overall state championship.
Sutton drew first blood by scoring the first two goals of the game, the fast start Blake craved against upset-minded Lakeville North en route to a 14-12 victory.
“I think it kind of helped set the tone for the game,” Sutton said. “It got us going and got our intensity up.”
Lakeville North’s upset of No. 1 ranked Eden Prairie in the semifinals ended a six-year streak of state championship games featuring the Eagles and Blake.
“We kind of assumed we would be playing Eden Prairie,” Sutton said. “But you never know what’s going to happen so you have to play each game like it’s your last and go full out.”
Showing no signs of a letdown against a surprise opponent, No. 2 seed Blake (16-3) stormed ahead 3-1 on three Sutton goals. Annie Lyman and Jordan Chancellor each scored twice as the Bears held a five-goal advantage for much of the first half.
The No. 4 seed Panthers (14-5) stayed with Eden Prairie throughout the semifinals but could not keep pace with Blake.
“They are a really fast team,” Panthers senior Hannah Koloski said. “And I think the nerves got to us a little bit.”
Koloski and Emmie Madsen battled back to score consecutive goals and another Koloski goal made the halftime score 10-5 in Blake’s favor.
An ability to score in bunches led to three unanswered Lakeville North goals in the second half, cutting Blake’s lead to 12-9.
Then Sutton, the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year and the youngest member of Team Canada, showcased her considerable skills by rebounding Chancellor’s shot off the pipe and putting the ball away for her fourth goal of the game and a 13-9 lead.
Chancellor’s fourth goal of the game gave Blake a 14-10 edge but Lakeville North remained dangerous to the end. Goals from Kacie Waagbo and Makayla Kubisiak cut the Blake lead to 14-12 with a little less than four minutes remaining. But the Bears did not panic.
“I was surprised at how calm everyone was,” Chancellor said. “We tried to keep the ball in our control from there. It feels great to keep the run going.”
Eden Prairie 13, Stillwater 8: The Eagles, who missed the girls’ championship game for the first time in seven years of state tournament play, won the third-place title. Anna Johnson and Emma Claire Fontenot each scored four goals.