Coming into the 2021 season, Eden Prairie felt the pressure of continuing its legacy as the premier girls’ lacrosse program in the state of Minnesota.
The Eagles had lost many of the stalwarts of its 2019 state tournament runner-up team. On top of that, they would be playing for the first time without co-head coaches Judy Baxter and Beth Patterson, who had started the program 20 years prior. They stepped away in 2019, and the 2020 season was canceled amid the pandemic.
“We were really worried going into the season,” Eagles junior attacker Josie Lillquist said. “We didn’t know if we were gonna be able to keep that prestige of Eden Prairie lacrosse.”
That answer came Wednesday, when the Eagles overcame multiple deficits to edge Chanhassen 14-13 in the Section 2 final at Chanhassen High School, and once again, advance to the state tournament.
“I’m just super glad that we’re keeping (the legacy) going and we get to make it to state,” said Lillquist, who scored a team-high four goals in the victory.
Eden Prairie is going back to a place it’s quite familiar with — the state tournament.
The Eagles, ranked No. 10 in the final coaches’ poll, bounced back from multiple deficits to defeat Chanhassen 14-13 on Wednesday in the Section 2 final at Chanhassen High School. Josie Lillquist led the way and scored four goals, including back-to-back tallies in the first half that tied the game 7-7.
Bella Detienne, who scored three goals for No. 5 Storm, scored before the break to give her team an 8-7 halftime lead. Leah Hodgins, a Boston University commit, scored the first three goals of the second half for Chanhassen (13-3). She finished with five goals.
The Eagles (10-6) scored four unanswered goals, including two from Brinley Hopper, who finished with a hat trick on the night, to take a 13-12 lead late in the second half. Gabby Bjugan, who tallied three goals, quickly tied it eight seconds later, but Kaci Kotschevar-Call notched the game winner with her second goal of the game with just over a minute to play.
Taylor Kotschevar-Call scored two goals for the Eagles.
The MN Lacrosse Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.