Minnehaha Academy's girls’ lacrosse team opened its season by delivering a message — a 12-9 come-from-behind victory at Independent Metro Athletic Conference rival Blake on Thursday.
The Redhawks, ranked No. 9 in the state coaches’ poll, trailed 5-3 at halftime and were behind by as many as four goals early in the second half before using a six-goal eruption to claim a win in their season opener.
"People may not have been talking about us yesterday, but they will be talking about us now," Redhawks senior Grace Nickoloff said. "Beating Blake was a huge goal for us, so we want everyone in Minnesota to know we are a force to be reckoned with."
For Minnehaha Academy (1-0, 1-0), the win also avenged a tough 12-11 loss to Blake in the state tournament quarterfinals last season.
"I was injured last year and couldn't play for Minnehaha, but to watch them lose to Blake last year was heartbreaking for all of us," Nickoloff said. "To open the season against them was really an emotional overload."
Blake (1-2, 0-1) had scored the final three goals of the first half to give the No. 4 Bears a two-score cushion. But Redhawks coach Kate Leavell said her team did not lose its focus when it fell behind.
"We came here with the intent of leaving with a win, and we never lost that focus for the entire game," she said. "Every time we fell behind, the focus was on what we needed to correct and on digging deep to come back."
The Minnehaha Academy girls’ lacrosse team scored six straight second-half goals, including five in a five-minute span, to knock off Independent Metro Athletic Conference foe Blake 12-9 Thursday at Blake's William J. Glenn Field.
The Redhawks, ranked No. 9 in the state coaches’ poll, were led offensively by freshman Claire Nelson, who scored four goals and added two assists, and senior Grace Nickoloff, who added three goals and an assist. Junior Olivia Nelson and seventh grader Ella Berg each contributed a pair of goals, while junior Mara Valme-Jones also scored for the Redhawks (1-0, 1-0).
Blake, ranked No. 4 in the state poll, was led by a two-goal, four-assist effort by sophomore Kalissa Fruetel. Freshman Erin Lee had two goals and two assists while Ahna Fleming also had a pair of tallies; the other Bears goals were scored by sophomores Catherine Barry, Jackie Weyerhaeuser and Eliot Mitchell.
Sophomore goalie Meredith Leavell stopped six shots for Minnehaha Academy. Her counterpart, junior Madeleine Florida, finished with eight saves for Blake (1-2, 0-1).
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