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Panthers pull off historic upset

By Justin Magill, MN Lax Hub staff, 06/13/13, 2:30AM CDT


Makayla Kubisiak's goal with 33 seconds left lifts Lakeville North past Eden Prairie

History was made on Thursday, June 13 at Chaska High School.

No. 1-ranked Eden Prairie has not lost to a Minnesota team yet this season and was on the path for another showdown with its rival Blake, the only two schools to play in the state championship game since the Minnesota State High School League sanctioned girls lacrosse.

However it was't seventh heaven for the Eagles.

Lakeville North triggered the biggest surprise in the history of Minnesota girls' high school lacrosse, knocking off the Eagles 13-12 in overtime in the state semifinals.

"This is something that has never been done before," Panthers' coach Mo Gaitan said. "I am just so proud of our team and what they did tonight. We made some history."

The score was tied at 11 at the end of regulation. Angie Heppelman opened the scoring in overtime for Eden Prairie, but Emmie Madsen scored her fourth goal of the night for the Panthers just 19 seconds later.

"She is not one that scores a lot of goals," Gaitan said. "But she was great for us tonight. It was nice to see her play so well, when a lot of our big goal scorers like Hannah (Koloski) were being watched pretty closely the whole game."

With 33 seconds left in overtime, Lakeville North's Makayla Kubisiak sent her team in a frenzy when her shot got past Eden Prairie goaltender McKenzie Johnson, who surprisingly had to keep Eden Prairie from losing in regulation with a last-second stop.

The only problem with Kubisiak's goal is that it left Eden Prairie with 33 seconds left to tie and, with its offensive skill set, who knows, maybe even score twice.

With nine seconds left and possession behind the Panthers' net, Eden Prairie coach Judy Baxter called a timeout to set up one last play. A set play got the ball out front and through all the chaos a shot was fired toward the net.

The ball made its way to the net without hitting a body, only to be stopped by the pipe. That is as close as the Eagles would get to its seventh straight trip to the state title game.

"We drew something up, and it came out pretty close," Baxter said. "That was about as good as it could of been besides going into the net."

It was the first time Eden Prairie lost to a team from Minnesota this season. It went unblemished through the regular season, even defeating three-time defending state champion Blake in the regular season finale.

"You give them all the credit tonight," Baxter said. "They played better and deserve to be in the championship game."

"We put our heart and passion into this game," Gaitan said. "We didn't have a lot to lose and they had everything."

The Panthers did not come into the state semifinals with the nerves that perhaps most would feel playing against the No 1 team in state. Instead they enjoyed the moment that was in front of them.

"I think we just came in and tried to have fun with it," Madsen said. "We know they are No. 1, but you can't let that get to you. Just go out and play and see what happens."

Lakeville North took down one giant, but there is another one waiting on Saturday.

"We are obviously really happy right now," Gaitan said. "There is one more game to play against the other best program in the state. We are going to enjoy it and see what happens."

Summary, Statistics

Game Recap

Lakeville North shocked the state with a 13-12 overtime win against top-ranked Eden Prairie in the state semifinals on Thursday, June 13 at Chaska High School.

Makayla Kubisiak scored with 33 seconds left and the Panthers survived a last0second surge from the Eagles to advance to the state championship game at 5 p.m. on Saturday, June 15 against Blake.

It marks the first time in Minnesota girls' lacrosse that Eden Prairie and Blake will not meet in the state title game.

Emmie Madsen scored four goals for the Panthers, while Hannah Koloski tallied three and Kubisiak added two.

Jessica Lagerquist led Eden Prairie with four goals, but it was not enough to get the Eagles to a seventh state title game.

The loss is also the first this season for Eden Prairie to a team from Minnesota.

1. Emmie Madsen, Lakeville North
Not known to be the go-to scorer, Madsen had the hot hand with four goals, including one in overtime to tie the score just 19 seconds after Eden Prairie took the lead. 

2. Hannah Koloski, Lakeville North
One of the players Eden Prairie needed to shut down yet simply couldn't. Koloski had 59 goals coming into the state tournament and added three more in the Panthers' biggest win in school history. When the ball was near the net, she was there to get it and and find a way to put it away.

3. Jessica Lagerquist, Eden Prairie
The Eagles are just loaded with scoring and Lagerquist showed off that depth with four goals. She made a couple goals look effortless with her high skill set. Only a sophomore, her potential appears to be high in the years to come.

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