Eric Weber and Benilde-St. Margaret's enter the state tournament as the No. 1 seed in boys' lacrosse.
When, where: Quarterfinals Tuesday at Chanhassen High School, semifinals Thursday at Minnetonka High School, championship Saturday at Chanhassen.
Close games expected: The top of the bracket brings familiarity and the likelihood of close games. Wayzata and No. 3 seed Minnetonka split two meetings in Lake Conference play, with Wayzata taking the first game 11-9 and the Skippers answering 11-10 in the rematch. No. 2 seed Prior Lake edged South Suburban Conference rival Lakeville North 7-6 in their lone meeting.
Champions abound: Prior Lake defeated Lakeville North for the 2016 title. No. 1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s and No. 4 Eagan were title game combatants last season. Eagan won, but the Red Knights (15-0) return as the tournament’s only undefeated team. They seek their first state title since 2011.
Players to watch: The tournament features two Mr. Lacrosse finalists in Isaac Peifer (Eagan) and Dalton Seesz (Wayzata). In addition, Jack Courington (Eagan) and Buzz Williams (Benilde-St. Margaret’s) were the two senior Goalie of the Year finalists. Prior Lake defender Preston Jelen is committed to play football for the Gophers.
What, where: Quarterfinals Tuesday at Minnetonka High School, semifinals Thursday at Chanhassen High School, championship Saturday at Chanhassen.
Tracking top seeds: Top-seed Eden Prairie is the No. 1 seed and three-time defending state champion. No. 2 seed Apple Valley, having defeated Prior Lake after three consecutive section playoff losses, returns for the first time since 2014. “As an eighth-grader it’s cool to get to state but now, since it’s been three years of almost getting there, it just made it so much better to finally do it again,” Apple Valley midfielder Reagan Roelofs said. “This group of seniors has gotten us there because we all bought in.”
Tournament first-timer: Minnehaha (13-2), which includes students from DeLaSalle, is the only new entrant.
Players to watch: Six of the seven Ms. Lacrosse finalists led their teams to the state tournament: Stillwater’s Abby Hagberg, Eden Prairie’s Ellie Henry, Blaine’s Abby Jones, Blake’s Sophie Skallerud and Apple Valley teammates Molly Moynihan and Roelofs. Blake’s Lucia Warner is one of two finalists for the Jake Anderson Award, given to the state’s top senior goaltender.
David La Vaque