Eagan’s Brandon Wuertz, right, is one of four Mr. Lacrosse finalists who will be playing in the boys’ state tournament. The Wildcats open with Lakeville North on Tuesday.
When, where: Quarterfinals Tuesday at Chanhassen High School, semifinals Thursday at Minnetonka High School, championship Saturday at Chanhassen.
The big picture: The three South Suburban Conference teams are on the same side of the tournament bracket. No. 1 seed Eagan defeated quarterfinal opponent Lakeville North to close the regular season. The Wildcats had previously defeated potential semifinal opponent and No. 5 seed Prior Lake, the defending state champion.
Play it again: Six of the field’s eight teams were state tournament qualifiers last spring. The other two are familiar names. No. 4 seed Mahtomedi returns after a one-year hiatus for its third overall appearance. No. 3 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s is back for the first time since winning the 2011 state title.
Players to watch: The tournament features four of the seven Mr. Lacrosse finalists: Carter Collins (Prior Lake), Brandon Wuertz (Eagan), Jackson Zaugg (Eden Prairie) and Lucas Honebrink (Mahtomedi). In addition, Drew Bouman (Lakeville North) is one of two senior Goalie of the Year finalists.
What, where: Quarterfinals Tuesday at Minnetonka High School, semifinals Thursday at Chanhassen High School, championship Saturday at Chanhassen.
The big picture: No. 1 seed Eden Prairie (15-1) returns in pursuit of a third consecutive state title. The Eagles’ lone loss came to Loyola Academy (Ill.). Down 8-0 at halftime, they responded with a strong second half but lost 11-7. “Even when we were down we didn’t give up, and that’s when I realized that this is the team that can win state again,” Eden Prairie senior midfielder Naomi Rogge said. The Eagles handed No. 2 seed Prior Lake (15-1) its only loss of the season. They open against Blaine (15-1).
Tournament newcomer: No. 4 seed Farmington (14-2) is the only new face.
Players to watch: Four of the seven Ms. Lacrosse finalists led their teams to the state tournament: Stillwater’s Olivia Konigson, Prior Lake’s Sarah Pierson and Eden Prairie’s Sammie Morton and Naomi Rogge. Prior Lake’s Claire Hagen and Cretin-Derham Hall’s Elle Crawford are the two finalists for the Jake Anderson Award, given to the state’s top senior goaltender.
David La Vaque