The Andover boys’ lacrosse team is enjoying a breakout season in which close games have resulted in victory rather than loss.
“We’re getting over the hump of losing to teams we’re close with,” Huskies coach Ken Weikel said.
Though the Huskies (9-2) fell Monday to rival Anoka (10-1) for the first time that Weikel could ever recall, a second meaningful game awaits Wednesday against undefeated Champlin Park (9-0). Losing to Anoka means the Huskies cannot clinch a share of the Northwest Suburban Conference championship but an upset of Champlin Park means earning the No. 1 seed for the Section 7 playoffs.
For Andover to rebound, standouts Adam Wiczek and Ryan Olson must play to their abilities.
Wiczek, a junior midfielder, has come into his own. He ranks among the state’s most productive players with 41 goals and 10 assists. If not for a school district rule preventing eighth-graders from playing varsity, Wiczek would have started, Weikel said.
“He’s been good for a long time,” Weikel said. “It’s just been a matter of him realizing how good he is.”
Olson, a senior goalie, has been a pleasant surprise. Graduation claimed the entire defensive corps but Olson stood tall. His saves percentage of .703 ranks among the best in the state.
“We’re not really stopping other teams’ good looks but Ryan is stopping more shots,” Weikel said. “We like to run and score and he stabilizes us on the back end.”
Other key players in Andover’s breakout season include senior midfielder Evan Olson (no relation to Ryan) and freshman defender Michael Wandmaker.
Olson, Weikel said, “does all the little things right that helps make a team successful.”
The precocious Wandmaker “is second or third in the state in takeaways.”
Mustangs shine at True Team
Mounds View’s track and field team placed third (girls) and second (boys) at last week’s Class 3A True Team state meet at Stillwater. Every entrant scores points, making depth paramount to success.
Yet two individuals stood out for the Mustangs. Senior Olivia Fixsen won the 100-meter hurdles in a time of 14.66 seconds, the third-best time reported this spring. Her 300 crown in 45.44 seconds also rankns third in the state.
Junior Matt Baker gave Mounds View’s boys a hurdles sweep. His times of 14.67 seconds (110 hurdles) and 39.76 (300 hurdles) both rank third in the state.