Dylan Popehn scored a hat trick Friday night including the winning goal in overtime. The Red Knights defeated the Lakers at home 9-8. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
A program like Benilde-St. Margaret’s doesn’t have its back against the wall often.
In 2021, the Red Knights lost just once and throttled two-time defending state champion Prior Lake twice, including in the state title game. Through five games in 2022, the unbeaten and top-ranked Red Knights in the state coaches poll outscored foes 63-12. But still, Benilde-St. Margaret’s coach Rob Horn had a question in mind for when the time came.
“We’re a younger group than what we’ve had in the past, and we know that,” Horn said. “It’s about poise and owning the moment. When you get in those moments of truth, how are you going to react? How are you going to respond?”
Freshman attack Dylan Popehn responded marvelously. He saw his team squander a six-goal first-half lead and a four-goal fourth quarter advantage in Friday’s anticipated meeting with No. 2 Prior Lake. A five-year home unbeaten streak was on the line until Popehn completed his hat trick with two minutes, nine seconds remaining to send the Red Knights home victorious by a 9-8 final.
Cam Gelling scored two goals for the Red Knights. They defeated the Lakers in overtime 9-8 and remain undefeated on the season. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner SportsEngine
In a rematch of the last three state title games, two prize fighters went the distance.
This time, in a regular season affair, the Red Knights held off a furious rally by the Prior Lake Lakers to win 9-8 in overtime Friday night in St. Louis Park.
Freshman Dylan Popehn completed his hat trick when his game-winner found the net with two minutes, nine seconds remaining. It helped the Red Knights avoid squandering a 6-0 second quarter lead.
Benilde-St. Margaret’s (6-0), ranked No. 1 in the May 2 coaches poll, was led by junior attack Carsen Brandt. The team points leader had a goal and two assists before exiting with an ankle injury. Senior attack Cam Gelling added two goals.
Senior midfielder Dalton Spratt led No. 2 Prior Lake (3-2) with four goals.
Senior goalie Justin Dalum made 15-of-23 saves (.652). Senior goalie Ryan Vitters made 9-of-17 saves (.471).
In recent years, Prior Lake beat Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the 2018 and 2019 state title games. Benilde-St. Margaret’s won in the 2019 and 2021 regular season and the 2021 state title.
Dalton Spratt of the Lakers scored the tying goal late in the game only for the Lakers to lose to the Red Knights 9-8 in overtime. Photo by Earl J. Ebensteiner, SportsEngine
The MN Lacrosse Hub polls are for entertainment purposes only.