Any time two top teams square off in a conference matchup, some magical moments are bound to happen. Tuesday night’s game between Lakeville South, ranked No. 1 in the most recent coaches’ poll, and No. 2-ranked Prior Lake was all one could have imagined. The drama never ceased until the final whistle blew on a 14-13 road victory for the Cougars.
The packed crowd at Prior Lake High School never got a chance to rest. Midway through the first half, the score was already 4-4 as the two teams struggled to take momentum from each other. Each seemed to mirror the other in aspects of their attacks, which included some hesitancy that left goals on the field for both teams.
But the chances kept coming and eventually the Cougars’ star attacker, senior Emily Moes, took control of the first half. Moes scored three times in just over five minutes late in the first half and the Cougars held an 8-6 lead going into halftime.
Tuesday night’s matchup of the South Suburban Conference’s top two teams didn’t leave anything on the table. The two undefeated teams went back and forth in scoring which led to a 13-13 draw going into the final three minutes. That’s when the Cougars struck the final blow, as senior attacker Emily Moes created space in front of the net by shifting side-to-side. That opened up her teammate, fellow senior Gabby Bouman, for a shot that she converted without question to send the Cougars home with a 14-13 victory.
The final three minutes came with more drama. As the Cougars (12-0) tried their best to hold onto the ball to chip away at the clock with a one-goal lead, the Lakers (11-1) countered when they could and eventually caused major trouble for Lakeville South. With exactly one second left on the clock, a Cougars player fouled Lakers sophomore Abby Grove and gave up a free shot.
However, that hope soon turned to heartbreak for the Lakers and their massive home crowd when the shot went over the goal entirely. The Cougars stormed the field in celebration, as they could officially call themselves 2023 South Suburban Conference champions.
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