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Play it again

By MN Lax Hub and Star Tribune staff, 06/06/12, 12:35PM CDT


With Meghan Bauer leading the way, Blake outlasts Stillwater to set stage for familiar final

Blake's Meghan Bauer, left, sprints past Stillwater's Savanna Handevidt in the first half. Photo by Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

Meghan Bauer

Meghan Bauer was in seventh grade when the Blake girls lacrosse team made it to its first state championship game.

Since then, the Bears managed to reach the title game in every year, winning it the past two with Bauer leading the way. 

Now a senior on a team that relies heavily on a talented group of underclassmen, she knows her role is not the same. 
"It has been a lot different because I'm a senior" said Bauer. "I think this is a really good team even though it is young."
In the semifinal game against a Stillwater team with a powerful offensive attack, Bauer was the difference maker. While the underclassmen kept the Bears in the game, combining for nine goals, Bauer would find the net six times on her own in the 17-10 victory.
"We both came out really strong and it was a really tough offensive battle from the beginning," Bauer said.
Looking back on past years, being in the same position heading to the championship game, Bauer did not lower the goals for Blake's young squad.
"We've really come together at the end of the season, and we want this third state championship in a row more than anything," Bauer said. "We are going to come out really amped to play tomorrow."
Bauer and her Blake Bears will take on longtime rival Eden Prairie at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Chanhassen High School.
-- Jake Lunemann, MN Lax Hub staff

After wild star, momentum swings Blake's way

Blake's Anne Slusser, middle, tries to elude Stillwater defenders Hannah Dick, left, and Maggie Corman, right, in the first half. Photo by Carlos Gonzalez, Star Tribune

As Blake coach Laura Mark put it, lacrosse is a momentum game.

"Sometimes, it goes back and forth, but you have to grab control of it," Mark said.

And that's exactly what the Bears did in their semifinal matchup with Stillwater.

Senior Meghan Bauer scored six goals, and Blake overcame an early 4-3 deficit to top Stillwater 17-10 in the highest-scoring game in state tournament history.

"There was never a doubt in my mind that we'd work it out," Bauer said of her team's rough patch early in the game. "It kind of happens like that sometimes at the beginning of games."

The Bears now have a shot at their third consecutive title against their familiar rival.

"For us, the goal is always just to play the best game that we can," Mark said. "... I still think there's something out there for this group."

Junior Dana Almquist scored seven goals for Stillwater, which will play Apple Valley in today's third place game at 4 p.m.

The championship game is at 2 p.m.

-- Bryce Evans, Special to the Star Tribune

Statistics, Summary

Game Recap

Ms. Lacrosse finalist Meghan Bauer scored six goals and Anne Slusser added four as two-time defending state champion Blake beat Stillwater 17-10 in the semifinals of the state girls lacrosse tournament on Wednesday, June 6, at Chanhassen High School in the highest scoring game in the six-year history of the state tournament.

The victory sets up yet another title game showdown between the Bears and Eden Prairie. The teams have met in all five previous championship games, with Blake winning three titles and Eden Prairie two. The sixth meeting will be held at 2 p.m. on Thursday at Channhassen High.

The previous record for most combined goals in a state tournament games was 26, set in 2010 when Eden Prairie beat Mounds View 22-4 and Mounds View beat Lakeville North/South 15-11.

Stillwater's Dana Almquist was superb in the loss, tieing a state single-game record by scoring seven goals on 11 shots.

Stillwater trailed 10-6 at halftime and could not cut into the deficit in the second half.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor 

1. Meghan Bauer, Blake
The senior midfielder, a dynamic presence on the state scene for years, always seems to play her best on the biggest stage. Playing with seemingly an extra bounce in her stride, Bauer, who was one of seven Ms. Lacrosse finalists, scored six goals on 10 shots, scooped two ground balls and was credited with three draw controls.

2. Dana Almquist, Stillwater
The junior provided headaches of migraine proportions for the Bears’ defense, scoring seven goals to tie the state tournament held by three players. Almquist scored Stillwater’s first four goals, then scored three straight in the second half to keep the Ponies within striking distance. Her scoring outburst upped her season goal total to 87.

3. Anne Slusser, Blake
The sophomore scored four goals on four shots and added an assist. She was also dominant on faceoffs, finishing with seven draw controls. She scored three of her goals in the first half as the Bears surged to a 10-6 lead.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

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