For the first 15 years in the history of the Minnesota girls’ lacrosse state tournament, the only two teams to win the title were The Blake School and Eden Prairie High School. That streak ended on June 16 when the Apple Valley High School girls’ lacrosse team defeated Eden Prairie to earn their first state championship.
Apple Valley’s historic run to the state title started by getting past #1-ranked Prior Lake High School in the Section 6 championship game. Prior Lake had handed Apple Valley its only loss during the regular season, but the Eagles defeated them 13-12 in the section title game. Apple Valley earned the #2 seed entering the state tournament and dispatched Maple Grove High School 18-4 in their quarterfinal game. The semifinal game against Blake was still close at the half, with Apple Valley holding a 5-3 lead, but the Eagles scored the first five goals of the second half and played strong defense throughout to earn an 11-6 win.
The championship game against #1-seeded Eden Prairie featured four lead changes. Apple Valley took an early 2-0 lead, then Eden Prairie stormed back with three straight to take a 3-2 lead. Apple Valley scored the next four goals to go up 6-3, only to see Eden Prairie tie the score at 6 before halftime. Apple Valley scored three of the first four goals of the second half to take a 9-7 lead, but Eden Prairie came back once again to tie the game and then took the lead 10-9 with less than seven minutes remaining. Apple Valley senior Emma Vogelgesang netted her second goal of the game to tie the score with less than four minutes remaining and teammate Sophia Leong added the game winner with just 72 seconds remaining, giving Apple Valley an 11-10 win.
Apple Valley finished the season with an 18-1 record and was ranked 9th in the Midwest US Lacrosse Region.
Molly Moynihan, Reagan Roelofs, Brynne Rolland and Sophia Leong were named to the All-Tournament Team. Roelofs was also named the Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year, Pioneer Press Player of the Year and Minnesota’s Ms. Lacrosse.
Other members of the state championship team are Sydney McGregor, Taiva Reinertson, Kailee Hoff, Faith Kim, Jayna Hird, Annabel Reimers, Josie Segar, Stephanie Phillips, Emma Vogelgesang, Kealey Jensen, Baylee Lewis, Grace Lankas, Lily Leong, Ashlyn Hird, Elianna Van Hulzen, Laine Ciaramitarro and Airyona DeHerrera. The head coach is Alexandra Ross and assistant coaches are Claire Opsahl, Marissa Guillou and Mitch Benson.