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First-timer Apple Valley knocks off three-year champ Eden Prairie

By MATT STEICHEN, Special to the Star Tribune, 06/15/18, 5:00PM CDT

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The Eagles came from behind late to win 11-10 and become the first team other than Eden Prairie or Blake to win a girls' lacrosse state championship.


Apple Valley players, including Reagan Roelofs (13) and Taiva Reinertson (4) celebrate their team's 11-10 championship game victory over Eden Prairie on Saturday at Chanhassen High School. Photo: DAVID JOLES • david.joles@startribune.com

The Apple Valley girls’ lacrosse team went into the state championship game Saturday feeling like it had nothing to lose.

The way the Eagles looked at it, they had already accomplished their goal of advancing past top-ranked Prior Lake in the section to qualify for the state tournament. Facing perennial powerhouse Eden Prairie, they just wanted to play and see what would happen.

“We just said, ‘Let’s just have fun, work hard, out-play them and we’ll win,’ ” said senior Reagan Roelofs, the state’s all-time scoring leader, Ms. Lacrosse finalist and Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year. “We just wanted to enjoy the game.”

Enjoy it, the Eagles did.

Despite losing three multi-goal leads, they surged back ahead for good on senior Sophia Leong’s spinning goal with 1 minute, 12 seconds left and knocked off the three-time defending state champions 11-10 at Chanhassen High School.

It’s the first time in the 12-year history of the tournament that a program other than Eden Prairie or the Blake School went home with the championship.

First report

Sophia Leong's goal with 1 minute, 12 seconds left lifted Apple Valley to its first girls' lacrosse state title Saturday afternoon over perennial state powerhouse Eden Prairie.

Apple Valley blew three multiple-goal leads, but was able to surge ahead one last time and knock off the three-time defending state champions 11-10 at Chanhassen High School.

It's the first time in the 12-year history of the state girls' lacrosse tournament that a program other than Eden Prairie or the Blake School went home with the championship.

Apple Valley trailed 10-9 with 10 minutes to go, but answered when senior Emma Vogelgesang's goal tied the game for the sixth time with 4:10 to go.

Apple Valley then won the ensuing faceoff, setting up Leong's spinning, go-ahead shot.

State all-time leading scorer, Ms. Lacrosse winner and Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year Reagan Roelofs once again came away with the ensuing faceoff, allowing Apple Valley to run out the rest of the clock.

Check back later for more on the game.

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