Benilde-St. Margaret's Carsen Brandt (left) made a move toward the goal in the first half. Brandt scored twice as Benilde took a 6-3 halftime lead. [Photo by Mark Hvidsten, SportsEngine]
Mitch Dokman’s name doesn’t reside among the six Benilde-St. Margaret’s boys’ lacrosse All-America or All-State selections. Before Saturday, the senior hadn’t contributed a goal in six games. His position as a faceoff specialist is also known as faceoff/get off.
In the championship game, Dokman scored an overtime walk off. His fourth goal of the season provided the defending champion Red Knights with a 10-9 victory against Prior Lake.
The final sequence began with a Justin Dalum save and ensuing outlet pass. Dokman took off with the ball and noticed Prior Lake failing to slide his way. So he sprinted into shooting position and fired at 2:06 into the extra frame.
“It didn’t seem real at first,” Dokman said. “It felt like a dream. But now it’s starting to kick in and it just feels great.”
Saturday’s game at Stillwater High School felt familiar to Benilde’s 9-8 overtime against Prior Lake on May 6. The rematch started with Benilde scoring three unanswered goals. But the Lakers, who trailed 5-0 to start in the first meeting, scored twice.
From there, these teams’ fourth consecutive title game showdown became a classic. Top seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s (19-0) led 8-6 after three quarters before No. 3 seed Prior Lake (15-2) fought back for a 9-8 lead. Senior attackman Justin Simonson put the dogged Lakers ahead for the first time all evening.
“For our group, it really just comes down to will and determination and sticking with it,” Prior Lake coach Casey Mithun said. “When you have two good teams like this, the finite stuff makes a difference. We weren’t clean enough on a handful of things. But props to our guys for sticking with it.”
Benilde didn’t wilt, either. Hunter Payer tied the score 9-9, setting up a tense final three minutes. Each team lost possessions. Both head coaches used timeouts in the last 69 seconds. An offside call on Prior Lake nullified an apparent goal with 13 seconds remaining.
“When I saw that ball go in, I was like, ‘Oh my god, we did not just lose to Prior Lake again,’” Dokman said. “But after it was called off, I was like, ‘OK, we have another chance.’ Then I felt like we were kind of destined to win at that point.”
Both coaches burned their only extra session timeout to diagram their possessions. Instead, the winning goal came on a transition rush from an unlikely source.
Coach Rob Horn recalled Dokman as an incoming freshman, all of “5-foot-2 and 95 pounds soaking wet” who grew into “what we call weapon X. Nobody knows who he is and he just shows up and delivers.”
Mitch Dokman scored in overtime as undefeated Benilde-St. Margaret’s outlasted Prior Lake for a 10-9 victory in the boys’ lacrosse state tournament championship played Saturday at Stillwater High School.
The game marked these teams’ fourth-consecutive title game showdown. No. 1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s (19-0), the defending champion, led 8-6 after three quarters before No. 3 seed Prior Lake (16-2) fought back to take a 9-8 lead.
Benilde previously beat Prior Lake 9-8 in overtime on May 6. Saturday’s rematch had a similar start as Benilde scored three unanswered goals. But the Lakers, which trailed 5-0 to start in the first meeting, recovered with two goals. The second came off the stick of Justin Simonson with six seconds remaining in the first quarter.
Prior Lake appeared to catch a second quarter break as Benilde goalie Justin Dalum lost the ball as he headed upfield. A Jack Tocko shot missed the yawning cage and the Lakers’ chance to draw even. Then Benilde’s Gus Bell put his team ahead 4-2. He added a second goal with four seconds remaining as the Red Knights led 6-3 at halftime.
Dogged Prior Lake crept closer before finally tying the game 8-8 on Eric Dueffert’s goal with 5:52 to go in the fourth quarter. Simonson put the Lakers ahead for the first time all game a little more than one minute later.
Benilde’s Hunter Payer knotted the score 9-9, setting up a tense final three minutes. Each team lost what they hoped would be their final possessions. Both head coaches used timeouts in the last 69 seconds. An offside call on Prior Lake nullified an apparent goal with 13 seconds remaining.