Jack VanOverbeke (1) drives against St. Thomas Academy’s Ben Mansur (31) in the first half of the state semifinal game Thursday at Minnetonka High School. Photo: Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine
No. 2-seeded Prior Lake (15-3) vs. No. 1 Benilde-St. Margaret’s (18-0), 6 p.m. Saturday, Chanhassen High School
Why Prior Lake will win: The Lakers finally pulled ahead of Eden Prairie in the third quarter of the state semifinals to win 4-3. Expect more than four goals in the title game. “The biggest thing is keeping our sticks good and catching all of our passes,” midfielder Luke Bloedow said. “If we keep running our scheme I think we’ll be ready.”
Why Benilde-St. Margaret’s will win: Undefeated like last year, the Red Knights will try to solve the defending champs in the game that matters most. “We want to focus on continuing to play a complete four quarters,” coach Rob Horn said. Strong offense and the ability to start fast makes BSM hard to stop. Attack Jack VanOverbeke tallied three of his five semifinal goals in the first quarter.
Key to watch: The Red Knights boast faceoff specialist Jack Budniewski and many lacrosse observers consider him the state’s finest. His work at the X could limit Prior Lake’s possessions and put additional strain on the Lakers’ staunch defense.
Did you know? Prior Lake is playing under first-year coach Casey Mithun. Benilde-St. Margaret’s last won a state title in 2011.