Tartan boys lacrosse headed to state

The Hill-Murray boys golf team enters the 2016 season as the defending Metro East Conference champion. The Pioneers return only two letter winners from last year’s squad so there are some unknowns this spring.

First-year head coach Steve Martin inherits a team that he feels can once again challenge for the conference title.

Leading the way this spring is senior Sam Carlson, an All-Conference honorable mention selection who qualified for the state tournament last season. 

Carlson finished in a five-way tie for 23rd place at the Class AAA state tournament with a two-day score of 155. He shot 81 on day one and dropped that score down to 74 on day two.

Carlson got the 2016 season off to a memorable start by scoring a hole-in-one on No. 8 at Goodrich Golf Course on the first day of practice back on March 21.

Throughout most of the regular season, the Tartan High School boys lacrosse team had little trouble putting its opponents away. The Titans won 12 of their 13 games and those wins were by an average of around eight goals per game.

The second and third round of the section playoffs were a different story. The Titans found themselves in tightly-contested games that eventually went to overtime.

Tartan pulled out wins in both games and is headed to the state tournament for the first time in program history. Not bad for a four-year-old program.

“We’re really not that old,” said Tartan head coach Rick Dickinson. “We’ve only been playing varsity lacrosse for four years. To come this far this fast is a great accomplishment.”

“It’s really exciting,” said Tartan junior Sam Lindahl. “First time as section champion and first time going to state; it’s a big step for us.”

White Bear Lake entered the section final as the defending state champion and was looking for its fourth consecutive trip to state and sixth overall.

Tartan’s road to the state tournament began with a quarterfinal victory over North and took a serious turn in the semifinals with a hard-fought game against Stillwater. The fourth-seeded Ponies needed overtime to escape Mounds View in the quarterfinals, but found another gear against the Titans.

Tartan, the No. 1 seed and ninth-ranked team in the state, led by one at halftime and the game continued to be close in the second half. Tied at 7-7 after three quarters, Tartan took the lead with nine minutes left in the fourth quarter on a goal by Lindahl. The Ponies tied it with about five minutes remaining and that’s how it stayed the rest of the quarter.

With the game headed to overtime, this would be Tartan’s first one-goal game of the season. Luckily for the Titans, that one goal came off the stick of Jacob Hartzell and it sent them to the section final.

Awaiting Tartan in the final was White Bear Lake, the No. 3 seed that upset second-seeded and 10th-ranked Mahtomedi 15-13 in the semifinals. The Bears’ roster went through some turnover after last year’s state championship but still contained plenty of talent.

After Tartan’s goal on the initial possession of the game was waived off because of a crease violation, White Bear tallied two quick goals to take control early. Tartan got first-period goals from Andrew Henderson and Robert Veitch, but the Bears led by one after one.

Lindahl tied it early in the second but White Bear then scored three of the next four goals to take a two-goal lead into halftime. Henderson also scored in the second quarter for Tartan.

The third quarter was a perfect example of the ups and downs that one game can contain. White Bear outscored Tartan 4-2 through the first nine and a half minutes to take a four-goal lead. But following the goal that put the Bears ahead 10-6, Tartan called a timeout and during that timeout a stick check by the referees uncovered an illegal crosse for White Bear Lake.

The punishment for an illegal stick is a three-minute, non-releasable penalty, which meant the Bears would play a man down for three whole minutes, regardless of how many times Tartan scored.

The Titans took advantage by scoring twice in the final two minutes of the third period. White Bear scored once during that stretch, leaving the score 11-8 in favor of the Bears through three quarters.

The fourth quarter was all Tartan as it tried furiously to get back in the game. Ryan Dickinson got the rally started with a goal 40 seconds into the fourth. Henderson tallied his fourth goal of the game with 4:04 remaining to make it a one-goal White Bear lead. 

As Tartan battled to tie it, White Bear Lake was able to turn back the Titans until the final 10 seconds. Veitch completed his hat trick when he scored with 9.4 seconds showing on the scoreboard clock to knot it at 11-11.

The goal tied the score and sent Tartan to overtime for the second straight game. This time the hero medal went to Lindahl, whose underhanded shot beat White Bear goalie Michael Boudreau for the state-clinching goal.

“I saw the defense coming at me and just used him as a screen and put it low,” Lindahl said.

The state tournament runs June 14, 16 and 18 at two different locations. The quarterfinals on June 14 were at Minnetonka High School, the semifinals and consolation semifinals are June 16 at Chanhassen High School and the tournament returns to Minnetonka for the final day on June 18.

Joining Tartan at state are second-ranked Lakeville North, seventh-ranked Eden Prairie, unranked Eagan, unranked Blake, sixth-ranked Prior Lake, 11th-ranked Anoka and unranked Wayzata. 

“I’ve got a great group of boys,” Rick Dickinson said. “They’ve worked hard all year and they deserve this. They absolutely deserve this.”

The pairings for the tournament were not available by the deadline for this edition of the Review.

 

Hill-Murray girls

The Hill-Murray girls lacrosse team entered the post-season as the No. 2 seed in Section 4. Following a decisive quarterfinal victory over White Bear Lake, the Pioneers faced another Suburban East Conference foe in the semifinals.

Despite being the higher seed, Hill-Murray played its semifinal at the home stadium of its opponent, Roseville, because of the unavailability of its home stadium. The Raiders found the friendly confines to their liking and upset the Pioneers 9-5.

Roseville took a three-goal lead into halftime and made it stand up in the second half.

Hill-Murray had beaten the Raiders 14-12 in the final game of the regular season. The Pioneers finished the season with a record of 13-2. 

 

Brian Meyers can be reached at bmeyers@lillienews.com or 651-748-7819. Follow him on Twitter @BMeyersNews.

 

 

 

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