Prior Lake's Dalton Humphrey slips past Stillwater's Ryan Aldridge. Photo by Helen Nelson
Dane Senn’s third goal caught Prior Lake’s student cheering section off guard.
It took some prodding by the public address announcer to get one much-delayed toss of a hat from the bleachers. Even with a tailwind, the baseball cap didn’t carry far.
No worries. Like the players they were cheering for, Lakers fans eventually found their groove after a sluggish start.
Prior Lake's Matt Kleven scored three goals in the Lakers' victory over Stillwater. Photo by Helen Nelson
When Matt Kleven scored his third goal in the closing minute of Prior Lake’s 13-8 come-from-behind upset victory over No. 6-ranked Stillwater on Wednesday, May 4, a flurry of caps cascaded toward the field – no prodding necessary -- as a salute to the latest Lakers’ hat trick.
It was that kind of feel-good night for Prior Lake, which improved to 4-1 as it prepares for a Murderer’s Row lineup of South Suburban Conference opponents.
“Oh yeah, this was a big win,” Kleven, a senior midfielder said. “We’ll go into those games with some confidence. Hopefully we’ll do good.”
Burnsville, Eagan, Rosemount and Eastview all remain on Prior Lake’s schedule. If the Lakers can match their second-half performance against Stillwater, they might just win them all.
“That was the best we’ve played,” Prior Lake co-head coach Brant Chalupsky said. “Our defense has been playing good, but sometimes our offense sputters. Then sometimes when our offense really gets going, our defense runs into a roadblock. That was a game where everything came together.”
Trailing 7-4 early in the second half, Prior Lake scored eight unanswered goals as it seized control of the nonconference matchup. The Lakers, taking advantage of a parade of Stillwater penalties, outscored the Ponies 9-2 in the second half.
“We couldn’t get out of the box,” Stillwater coach Travis Sanders said. “We were a man down the entire third quarter. That’s what sank us. You aren’t going to win a lot of lacrosse games when you do that.
“That’s not a ref thing or a them thing, that was just us. We were just not playing smart lacrosse. When we don’t play smart lacrosse, we get beat.”
Prior Lake midfielder Max Messelt shields the ball from Stillwater defenseman Carson Cannon. Photo by Helen Nelson
Stillwater used defensive stopper Carson Cannon to effectively neutralize Prior Lake scoring standout Owen Barkley. The Lakers, as Kleven and Senn proved, are far from a one-man team.
“Anybody on our team can score,” said Kleven, who leads the Lakers with 11 goals. “It doesn’t matter if they lock out one kid on our team.”
Prior Lake even has a defensive standout of its own in senior Sam Huntington, who didn’t slow Stillwater scoring ace Sam Mathieu to a halt, but did limit the Ponies’ star to three goals.
“ I think he’s one of the state’s most underrated defensemen.,” said Prior Lake co-head coach Chris Fleck said. “We put him anywhere on the field. We either put him against their best midfielder or their best attackman. He’s done really well this year.”
Prior Lake co-head coach Chris Fleck and Lakers midfielder Matt Kleven. Photo by Helen Nelson
Junior attackman Dane Senn and senior midfielder Matt Kleven each scored three goals for Prior Lake as it rallied from an early four-goal deficit to beat No. 6-ranked Stillwater 13-8 on Wednesday, May 4, at Prior Lake High School in Savage.
The Lakers (4-1) trailed 5-1 early in the second quarter and were down 7-4 early in the third quarter before they reeled off eight unanswered goals.
Junior midfielder Eric Ambroz and senior attackman Owen Barkley eached scored twice for Prior Lake, which led 11-7 at the end of the third quarter.
Junior attackman Samuel Mathieu scored three goals for the Ponies (5-2), and teammates Charlie Register and Carson Cannon, a defenseman, added two each.
Stillwater was whistled for seven penalties in the third quarter alone, including at least two unsportsmanlike conduct calls.
Both teams entered the matchup having lost only to No. 3-ranked Blake.
Prior Lake students cheer the Lakers to victory. Photo by Helen Nelson
1. Dane Senn, Prior Lake
The junior attackman scored three goals and added two assists to lead a balanced Lakers’ offense. Senn’s third goal came midway through the third quarter, capping a 8-0 Prior Lake run.
2. Matt Kleven, Prior Lake
The senior midfielder with a laser shot scored two of his three goals in a 21-second span in the second quarter as the Lakers rallied from a 5-1 deficit.
3. Carson Cannon, Stillwater
A senior defenseman headed to NCAA Division I Denver University, Cannon scored twice on man-up situations and was primarily responsible for keeping Prior Lake attackman Owen Barkley in check. Barkley finished with two goals and an assist, but both goals came with the Lakers a man up.
Stillwater's Carson Cannon.