skip navigation

Lund, Bears seize the moment

By Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub Editor and Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune, 06/10/11, 10:29AM CDT


Blake topples rival Eden Prairie in championship to cap unbeaten season

Blake senior Abbie Lund scores one of her three goals in the state championship game. Closing in on defense are Eden Prairie's Morgan Oie, left, and Haylie Honn. In goal is McKenzie Johnson. Photo by Helen Nelson

Abbie Lund was acting a little out of character. Doing things she wouldn’t normally do. Adding tension to an already nerve-fraying atmosphere.

“I told her she was scaring me a little bit,” Blake coach Laura Mark said. “She was making me nervous because she kept running, running straight to the cage. I was like, ‘Uh, oh. Uh, oh.’ ”

Although a talented player to be sure, Lund isn’t the one the Bears typically look to when they need a goal. That would be Meghan Bauer. Or Hillary Crowe. Or Lydia Sutton.

Blake senior Abbie Lund races past Eden Prairie's Carley Tibbetts on the way to one of Lund's three goals. Photo by Helen Nelson

Yet there went Lund, steaming straight through the heart of the Eden Prairie defense time and time again during the Friday, June 10, Minnesota State High School League state championship game at Chanhassen High School.

After the postgame awards ceremony, it was only fitting that Lund was the one left holding the state championship trophy as her teammates scattered to collect their gear. The scene only reaffirmed it was a “Seize The Day” sort of afternoon for the senior midfielder who scored three goals in the Bears’ 11-9 triumph over the Eagles.

“Coming into the game we knew that Meghan, Hillary and Lydia would probably be faceguarded,” Lund said. “So before the game coach told us it was our time to step up. When I saw the opportunity I took it.

“It worked out well, I guess.”

Three goals. A second straight state title. An unbeaten season.

It’s hard to imagine how it could have worked out any better for Lund or the Bears (16-0), who have now won three of the five state tournaments sanctioned by the MSHSL. 

“The one thing I love about Abbie is that she tries every new thing that she possible can, and today her new thing was one v one – go to the goal,” Mark said. “So go figure.”

Blake's Meghan Bauer, middle, is double teamed by Eden Prairie's Kelly Crampton, left, and Morgan Oie. Photo by Helen Nelson

Lund scored 19 regular-season goals and added 11 more in the playoffs. Not bad for a fourth option who plays lacrosse as a second sport. A hockey standout who will play at Division I Dartmouth next season, Lund didn’t start playing lacrosse until she was a freshman.

“She played awesome,” Crowe said about Lund. “We have a lot of depth this year, and I think that’s one of the reasons we did so well.”

While Bauer was able to bust loose for four goals, Sutton managed just two and Crowe none. That wasn’t going to be nearly enough against the Eagles, who have played the Bears in all five MSHSL-sponsored state tournaments.

Trailing 3-1 early, Lund scored twice during a 6-0 run that spanned the middle portion of the opening half. Eden Prairie never got closer than two goals the rest of the way.

“This still is surreal,” Lund said. “I graduated yesterday, now we win the state championship. Back to back. It’s my last game playing lacrosse. It hasn’t really hit me yet.

“It’s a great feeling though. It’s crazy.”

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

Blake goaltender Bailey Dunning, left, arrives late to the party as the Bears celebrate their state championship victory over Eden Prairie. Photo by Helen Nelson

Blake, Eden Prairie rivalry stays hot

For four years — as long as high school girls’ lacrosse has been a sanctioned sport in Minnesota — Blake and Eden Prairie have dominated, seesawing state titles — with the Eagles claiming the first, in 2007 and the Bears evening the score with last year’s championship.

Friday, in the fifth consecutive state final meeting, top-seeded Blake decided it would turn the back-and-fourth tide with No. 2-ranked Eden Prairie, and went on to win its second consecutive championship, beating the Eagles 11-9 at Chanhassen High School.

“This is the best feeling in the world,” said Meghan Bauer, who led the Bears with four goals. “We were really determined to break the pattern of every other year and just get out here and win again.”

But as the second-half clock ticked away, the outlook seemed dubious.

After starting the half with a 10-5 lead, the Eagles went on a 4-1 run to pull within 11-9 with 12 minutes still to play.

“I get very nervous,” Blake coach Laura Mark said, recalling the way Eden Prairie began to unravel the Bears’ game, which relies on a paced, play-setting offense. “Last year in the state tournament we stalled for a long time before they figured it out, but this year they started pressuring us [right away], so I knew it was going to be a tight finish.”

The Bears counteracted by trying to get the ball on the stick of the speedy Lydia Sutton as much as possible in the final minutes. The plan worked; the Bears fended off the Eagles offense for the remainder of the game. Sutton finished with two goals and an assist.

The Bears had opened the game with a goal from Bauer just one minute into the contest, but the Eagles promptly responded with a three-goal burst  by Riley Allen for a 3-1 lead. But Mark called a timeout, made defensive adjustments and then watched her team score six uncontested goals over the next 12 minutes.

“I think we just started taking advantage of the opportunities we were seeing in the attack zone,” Bauer said. “We were just having tons of fun — we were having the time of our lives and we were on our way to win a state championship.”

The new attention to Allen freed up two of Eden Prairie’s top scorers, Taylor Uhl and Emma Claire Fontenot, who combined for four goals and three assists, but the efforts fell just short.

“They stayed with it, they never gave up,” Eagles co-coach Beth Patterson said. “But we made too many mistakes. And that’s what happens.”

– Amelia Rayno, Star Tribune

Statistics, Summary

1. Abbie Lund, Blake
The senior typically isn’t the Bears’ No. 1 scoring option, or even in the top three, but she showed some serious dodging and shooting chops along with a no-fear mentality as she repeatedly bull-rushed the net on her way to a three-goal, one-assist performance. Lund, who scored 19 regular-season goals, was at her best in the playoffs when she scored 11 in five games.

2. Meghan Bauer, Blake
The smooth maneuvering junior, the Cadillac of state girls’ lacrosse, scored four goals to bump her season total to an astounding 72. Bauer scored nine goals in two state tournament games.

3. Riley Allen, Eden Prairie
The senior who is listed as a defenseman was an offensive force, scoring four goals for the Eagles. Allen scored three consecutive goals early in the first half to propel Eden Prairie to a 3-1 lead.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

Blake senior Abbie Lund. Photo by Helen Nelson

Game Recap

Junior Meghan Bauer scored four goals and senior Abbie Lund contributed three as Blake capped an undefeated regular season with an 11-9 triumph over Eden Prairie in the Minnesota State High School League state girls' championship game on Friday, June 10, in front of about 500 fans at Chanhassen High School.

The Bears (16-0) became the first team to win back-to-back state championships since the MSHSL sanctioned girls lacrosse five years ago. Blake has won three state titles and Eden Prairie has two. The teams have met in all five MSHSL state championship games.

Eden Prairie (15-2) suffered both of its losses this season to Blake.

The Eagles surged to a 3-1 lead in the first five minutes on three unanswered goals by senior Riley Allen. Blake responded with six unanswered goals during a 12 minute, 48 stretch through the middle of the opening half.

Lund and Bauer each scored twice during that stretch.

Eden Prairie scored three straight to close to within 10-8 with 15:29 remaining. Blake’s Lydia Sutton and Eden Prairie’s Emma Claire Fontenot exchanged goals to cap the scoring with 12:38 remaining.

The Bears’ relied on the speedy Sutton to burn the clock during the closing minutes.

Blake also got a command performance from freshman Anne Slusser, a defenseman who held Eden Prairie goal-scoring machine Christine Easton to one goal and three shots. Easton entered the game having scored 77 goals in 16 games. She scored six in the Eagles' 14-10 state semifinal triumph over Stillwater.

Bears’ goaltender Bailey Dunning made 11 saves, including several on high-quality Eagles’ chances. Eden Prairie goaltender McKenzie Johnson made five saves.

-- Loren Nelson, MN Lax Hub editor

Photo Gallery

Statistical Leaders

 Regular Season

Section 6 Playoffs

Regular Season

Section 5 Playoffs

How They've Fared

Regular Season

Section 6 Playoffs

State Tournament

Regular Season

Section 5 Playoffs

State Tournament

Spotlight Game Coverage

Recent Stories