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Boys' top games: Prior Lake, Benilde-St. Margaret's resume rivalry

By Ryan Williamson, SportsEngine, 05/02/22, 8:00AM CDT


May 6: These two teams have met in multiple state championship tilts, with the Red Knights winning the most recent in 2021.

Photo by SportsEngine

We task our reporters with identifying several intriguing games throughout the state to assemble our Top Games of the Week. The matchups are presented in no particular order, and when there are additional games we want to highlight, we’ll include them with brief notes.

Prior Lake vs. Benilde-St. Margaret's

7 p.m., Friday, May 6

In the early years of high school lacrosse in Minnesota, the top rivalry was between the girls programs at Blake and Eden Prairie, as they met in nearly every state championship in the early years. 

In 2022, the best rivalry in high school lacrosse is arguably between the boys programs at Prior Lake and Benilde-St. Margaret's. The two lacrosse powers have met in each of the past three state championship games and have also played numerous regular season games. The next chapter in their tussle is Friday, May 6, when they meet for the first time in 2022.

The Lakers took control of this rivalry when they won state championship matchups in 2018 and 2019. In 2021, Benilde-St. Margaret's fought back as the Red Knights took down Prior Lake in the regular season and then again in the state championship game, winning the title with an impressive 16-6 victory.

The Lakers (2-0, 2-0) may have revenge on the brain when this tilt tips off. Prior Lake, ranked No. 2 in the latest coaches' poll, certainly looks primed to return to another state title game.

The success for the Lakers comes thanks to the scoring prowess of senior attacker Justin Simonson and junior midfielder Ben Mickett. Simonson leads the team in points with 11 while Mickett already has six goals this season.

If Prior Lake is going to defeat the top-ranked Red Knights, Simonson and Mickett are going to have improve upon their production from their 2021 matchups. The duo combined for just three goals and two assists in those two games.

Benilde-St. Margaret's (4-0, 2-0) has remained cemented in the top spot in the rankings for good reason. The Red Knights have defeated their opponents by 10.5 goals per game and are allowing 2.5 goals per game this season.

Junior attacker Carsen Brandt was the kickstarter in wins against Bloomington Kennedy/Burnsville and Elk River to open the season. He combined for five goals and seven assists in those tilts. When it came to last season's meetings with Prior Lake, Brandt combined for three goals and nine assists.

Breck vs. Blake

7 p.m., Tuesday, May 3

These two private school rivals meet both riding hot streaks and as they meet in an IMAC and Section 5 showdown.

Breck (3-2, 0-2) has rebounded nicely following an 0-2 start to the season as the Mustangs have won three consecutive games. The offense has been there throughout. Breck has scored at least eight goals in every game this season.

Seniors Cormac O'Neill and Charlie Ryks have had their hand in quite a bit of the Mustang offense. O'Neill has 20 goals and six assists through five games while Ryks, a midfield, has 14 goals and six assists.

Blake (7-0, 2-0) has had a hot start from the start of the season with wins coming in and out if the IMAC. 

The Bears have held all but one of their opponents under five goals and have scored at least 10 goals in six of their seven wins.

Defensively, Blake is led by senior Max Hubler, who is committed to play at Holy Cross. For the second consecutive year, senior midfielder Eli Daniel. In 2021, he scored 18 goals through his first five games.

Grand Rapids/Greenway vs. Hermantown/Proctor

5 p.m., Monday, May 2

If this were boys' hockey, seeing these schools match up would be must-viewing as they all have a storied history.

When it comes to lacrosse, these are programs still very much in their youth, yet they are looking to take a leap in 2022.

Grand Rapids/Greenway (1-3) have to enter this game with some optimism. The Lightning picked up their first win against Becker to snap a three-game losing streak to open the season. Gavin Forrest, a sophomore midfielder, has four goals and three assists to help lead his younger group.

Hermantown/Proctor (0-3) are still looking for that first win of the season. The Stealth have challenged themselves with more metro opponents but will get a shot at win No. 1 against a familiar outstate foe. 

Other games to keep an eye on

Centennial vs. Blaine, 7 p.m., Wednesday, May 4. The Northwest Suburban rivals are behind in the conference race and will look to make a move in this one. Watch for Centennial's top midfielders Noah Berger and Sammy Rodriguez.

Buffalo vs. Eden Prairie, 5:30 p.m., Thursday, May 5. The Bison might not be on your radar yet, but they should be as they have leaped into the top 10 and look to be competitive in the Lake Conference this season.

White Bear Lake vs. Cretin-Derham Hall, 7 p.m., Friday, May 6. With five teams within two points of first place in the Suburban East Conference, it's anybody's race. Both these teams are in that conversation, which means every matchup like this one is important.

Top Games poll

The MN Lax Hub poll is only for entertainment purposes. 

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