The road to the state boys and girls lacrosse tournaments gets underway Tuesday, May 26 with opening round play in the Section 6 tournament. Here’s a preview of the boys and girls tournaments.
Opening up the Section 6 boys tournament is a first round game as the St. Louis Park Orioles host St. Paul. It’s been a tough maiden voyage into MSHSL competition for the Orioles, the eighth seed in the section. But they have outstanding offense in senior Matt Harkema and sophomore Brody Ilstrup. Ilstrup has been hot in the scoring department, scoring five goals in the home season finale against Breck.
Should the Orioles beat st. Paul, their next opponent would be the top seeded Holy Angels Stars. The Stars have not lost a game since April 23, losing to the Chanhassen Storm 14-10. They’re on a nine game winning streak and they have plenty of offensive weapons to clinch a state tournament berth.
Also in the upper bracket is the fifth seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights and the fourth seeded St. Thomas Academy Cadets. The Red Knights have been on a roll with four straight wins after a 1-8 start. BSM played St. Thomas Academy on May 15 and beat them 8-4. Can the Red Knights remain hot or will the Cadets avenge the loss and advance to the semifinals?
Looking at the lower bracket, the third seeded Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders await the TRIMAC-Minneapolis winner and the Raiders hope to bounce back after concluding the regular season with two straight losses. The second seeded Blake Bears take on the winner of Simley-Breck and they look to gain momentum after losses to Jefferson and Minnetonka that ended a seven game winning streak.
On the girls side, Minnehaha Academy and Minneapolis open the tournament on Tuesday, with the winner facing the perennial power Blake Bears. The Bears are three wins away from their quest for a sixth consecutive state title. Their only losses were to New Trier, IL and a familiar state tournament opponent, Eden Prairie. Keep your eye on Blake, they have one of Minnesota’s top programs in any spring sport.
A couple of hot teams round out the upper bracket as the fifth seeded Visitation Blazers take on the fourth seeded Cretin-Derham Hall Raiders. The Blazers have won four straight games while the Raiders won four of their last five games. It should be an interesting match up.
Now to the lower bracket as the sixth seeded Holy Angels Stars head down Highway 100 to take on the third seeded Benilde-St. Margaret’s Red Knights. Both teams have nearly identical records with Holy Angels at 7-6 and BSM 7-5. The Red Knights have played a tougher schedule, losing three non conference games to Lakeville South, Eden Prairie and Blake. Will they be ready for a possible rematch with Blake?
The St. Louis Park Orioles host an opening round game on the 25ht against St. Paul with the winner going up against the second seeded Breck Mustangs. It’s been an up and down season for the Orioles, who faced Breck in their season opener and got blasted 15-7. The Mustangs lone loss was to Blake on April 22 so it could be Round 2 for the two Tri-Metro Conference powers.
That’s the road to the state tournament which will played in Hopkins and Minnetonka after several years in Chaska and Chanhassen. Get outside and see some exciting lacrosse action.