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Blake machine rolls into title game

By Michael Murakami, Lax Hub staff, 06/08/11, 10:49AM CDT


Defending champion Bears blow past Bloomington Jefferson in state semifinals

Blake's Hillary Crowe, left, is pressured by Bloomington Jefferson's Natalie Moren. Photo by Helen Nelson

Looking over the scoresheet from top-seeded Blake’s 16-2 victory against Bloomington Jefferson on Wednesday, June 8, in the state tournament semifinal game, two familiar names were at the top for the Bears.

Meghan Bauer and Hillary Crowe.

The combination led the Bears' offense as Bauer had five goals and Crowe had four. Each also contributed an assist.

Blake defenseman Claire Wilson looks to make a pass. Photo by Helen Nelson

“They had a great game but they’ve played like that all season,” Blake coach Laura Mark said. “They’ve been playing together now for three years and they know one another well on the field.

“It’s really fun to see them gel the way they do.”

Bauer, a junior midfielder, and Crowe, a senior forward, have definitely been a formidable combination. They have scored a combined 180 points (117 goals, 63 assists) this year.

“We’ve played with each other for so long,” Crowe said. “We just know when we’re behind the net with each other. We know if they’re doubling her on the right side then I’m going to go take it on the left, if they’re doubling me on the left she’s going to take it on the right.

“We know each other well and how we play.”

Despite her successes on the lacrosse field, Crowe has a bright future ahead of her on the ice as she will be attending and playing hockey for Harvard this fall.

“Hillary is a fantastic athlete,” Mark said.

Along with Crowe’s athleticism comes solid senior leadership and a desire to see her teammates succeed -- especially her linemate Bauer.

“I have a lot of respect for her as a player and I love to see her do well,” Crowe said.

Blake's Meghan Bauer scored five goals and added an assist in the Bears' state semifinal victory over Bloomington Jefferson. Photo by Helen Nelson

Blake is hoping both Bauer and Crowe continue the offensive production as the Bears head into their fifth-straight championship game.

The previous four championship matchups have been against current No. 2-seed Eden Prairie, but Blake is only focusing on what it can control.

“Regardless of our opponent, our main goal is to win the draw,” Crowe said. “I think that’s huge in girl’s lacrosse -- if you win the ball, you possess it. I think when we have the ball we make it work on offense.”

Though Blake’s extra-effort 12-10 victory over Edina in the Section 5 playoffs and the 16-2 semifinal win against Bloomington Jefferson is sure to give the Bears confidence, Mark stressed she and her team won't dwell on the past.

“I think the only thing that ever helps is if you play one game at a time,” Mark said. “You move on from where you were and you try to go forward. I guess I would say (the semifinal victory over Bloomington Jefferson) is a nice confidence booster but the state championship is the state championship.

“Whoever you play, you have to be up for it.”

Blake play No. 2 Eden Prairie in the state girls championship game at Chanhassen High School on Friday, June 10, at 2 p.m.

-- Michael Murakami, MN Lax Hub Staff


Statistics, Summary

1. Meghan Bauer, Blake
The junior who entered the state tournament with an even 100 points, added six (five goals, one assist) more to her bust-the-pinball-machine total in what was another in a long, long line of make-it-look-easy performances.

2. Hillary Crowe, Blake
Talk about making it look easy, Crowe, a senior, scored four goals and no doubt could have doubled that total had she not focused more on passing than slashing and shooting in the second half.

3. Lydia Sutton, Blake
The freshman midfielder scored two goals, scooped a game-best eight ground balls and was a force in the Bears’ defensive end, where she forced a team-high six turnovers.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

Blake freshman Lydia Sutton. Photo by Helen Nelson

Game Recap

Meghan Bauer scored five goals and Hillary Crowe had four to lead No. 1-ranked Blake past Bloomington Jefferson 16-2 in the semifinals of the Minnesota State High School League girls semifinals on Wednesday, June 8 at Chanhassen High School.

Bauer, a junior who has committed to Harvard, scored three goals in the first 25-minute half as the unbeaten and defending state champion Bears (15-0) scored the first nine goals and led 10-1 at the break.

Crowe, a senior headed to Harvard (to play hockey) in the fall, also had three goals by halftime.

Senoir Abbie Lund and and freshman Lydia Sutton each added two goals for Blake, as it earned a spot in the state title game for the fifth consecutive year. The Bears have won two titles.

Seniors Laura Berglund and Brenna Murray scored for Bloomington Jefferson (14-3). The Jaguars didn’t score their first goal until there was 3 minutes, 56 seconds remaining in the first half.

Blake had 21 shots on goal compared to Bloomington Jefferson’s 11.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

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