The rivalry between these Lakeville high schools was ratcheted up last spring when the programs met in the Section 1 championship — and Lakeville North routed South 13-1 to clinch a spot at the state tournament.
Expect plenty of spirited play when the Panthers host the Cougars in their annual regular-season showdown on Tuesday.
Lakeville North has shown it has the talent to contend for another section title despite struggling against ranked teams. The only two losses by the No. 9 Panthers (6-2, 5-1) this season came against No. 2 Prior Lake and No. 7 Stillwater, so a solid showing against Lakeville South could fuel a postseason run.
Among the Panthers' top players this season is Olivia Mattis, who has 35 goals.
Lakeville South is having an outstanding season and showing it has what it takes to overcome a challenge from Lakeville North if they meet in the section tournament again. The Cougars (9-6, 6-0) are rolling against South Suburban Conference foes thanks to a dominant offense that is averaging more than 17 goals per game, and the squad could carry that momentum into the postseason with a victory over the Panthers.