Prior Lake’s Payton Bloedow got the experience of leading a team through the preseason as a captain a year ago. Unfortunately for Bloedow, she didn’t get the chance to hit the field in that role due to the season being canceled to help curb the spread of COVID-19.
As a senior captain this spring, Bloedow not only led her team in preseason preparation but she’s now getting a chance to lead on the field. It’s so far been a rousing success for Bloedow and the Lakers. On Thursday, Prior Lake extended its winning streak to five games with a 16-3 blowout of South Suburban Conference rival Apple Valley/Burnsville (4-3, 2-2).
In her last full season of lacrosse, Bloedow was just a sophomore on the 2019 state champion Laker team. But she was certainly a force, finishing the year with 51 goals, including six in the state championship win against Eden Prairie.
That performance was good enough to earn a captain’s spot in 2020 and again in 2021 for Prior Lake (5-1, 4-0). For herself and the other team leaders, they had the task of getting a group ready after not playing for nearly two years.
“We played a lot together in the offseason,” Bloedow said. “We tried to build off previous years while also mixing in the new girls. I leaned on some older players who graduated and coaches to help me.”
In a battle of the top two teams in the South Suburban Conference standings, Prior Lake established itself as the league’s top team in a big way Thursday. The Lakers took a 12-1 lead into halftime and kept their opponent at bay in a 16-3 win at Prior Lake High School.
The Lakers (5-1, 4-0) had eight different players register goals in the win, including four players with multiple goals. Senior midfielder Payton Bloedow and junior attacker Ava Schiltz each had a team-high four goals. All of Bloedow’s tallies came in the first half.
Prior Lake, ranked No. 2 in the coaches’ poll, produced offensively at a similar rate to its season average. Coming into this game, the Lakers averaged 16 goals per game.
The same could not be said for Apple Valley/Burnsville (4-3, 2-2), which came into Thursday’s matchup having scored at least eight goals in every game this season but the Valley Blaze managed just three goals against the Lakers.
Apple Valley/Burnsville senior midfielder Taiva Reinertson scored two of her team’s goals. She now has a team-best 38 goals this season. Sophomore midfielder Madisyn Krumholz scored the Valley Blaze’s final goal of the game in the closing seconds.
Part of the staunch defense for Prior Lake came thanks to senior goaltender Jordan Gardner who made four saves in the win. Her goaltending counterpart, sophomore Olivia Tilbury, registered five saves in a losing effort.
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