AV girls lacrosse team 3rd at state
Team makes big strides in four years
Katrina Vogelgesang and Hannah Segar were ninth-graders when Apple Valley High School went out on its own in girls lacrosse. Last week the two senior captains said they assumed their reward for playing four years on varsity would be helping build a foundation for future Eagles teams to reach the state tournament.
They said they didn’t think they could dare dream about getting to state before they graduated – which is what made Apple Valley’s third-place finish in the 2012 tournament all the more satisfying.
“Back then, I don’t think any of us could have thought this would happen,” Segar said. “But we did come close last year, and we start to think if we could make some improvement this year, we might get there.”
Apple Valley (14-5) got to the state tournament after toppling No. 1-seeded Lakeville North in the Section 3 final. At last week’s state tournament at Chanhassen High School, the Eagles lost to Eden Prairie 11-2 in the semifinals before defeating Stillwater 9-8 in the third-place game. Segar’s goal with 1 minute, 54 seconds remaining – her fifth of the game – was the winner against Stillwater.
Apple Valley High School’s girls lacrosse program is in its fourth year after a previous co-op with Eastview dissolved. For a while, things didn’t go smoothly, Vogelgesang said.
“I think we won two games our first year,” said Vogelgesang, a forward. “There’s a group of four or five of us who have been on the team since we were in ninth grade. Each year, we won a couple more games and after last year we started to think there was a chance we could go to state this year.”
Apple Valley, seeded fourth of the four state tournament qualifiers, lost 11-2 to No. 1-seeded Eden Prairie in the semifinals June 6. Ten minutes into the game the teams were tied 2-2, then Eden Prairie scored the game’s final nine goals.
Segar acknowledged that the Eagles weren’t sure if they could pull the upset. “We were in the game for a while,” she said. “We started thinking maybe we could do it. But Eden Prairie is so good.”
Segar and Vogelgesang scored in the Eden Prairie game.
Apple Valley built a four-goal lead by halftime of the third-place game, only to see Stillwater come back to tie the game with 3:21 remaining. Stillwater had possession with a chance to take the lead but committed a turnover, and Segar raced downfield to score the winning goal.
Vogelgesang, Hannah D’Cunha, Liz Hermes and Mandie Kaiser also scored in the Stillwater game June 7. Hermes added two assists for a three-point afternoon.
Blake (16-2) defeated Eden Prairie 11-10 to win its fourth state championship. The loss was the first in 18 games this season for Eden Prairie.
Blake and Eden Prairie have played for the state title every year since the Minnesota State High School League started sponsoring a girls lacrosse tournament in 2007.
Other seniors on the Apple Valley team are goalie Ashlynn Seely, forward Kaiser, forward Anna Nguyen, defender Tess Rybar, forward Hermes, defender Alyssa Lewis and defender Dilini Sundaram.
Six of the starters against Stillwater will be back next season. Is that enough for the Eagles to make another push for the state tournament?
“For sure,” said Segar, who might play club lacrosse at the University of Minnesota. “They’ll still have Katie (Larson, a sophomore midfielder), who is so fast. We had a good sophomore class this year. If they keep getting better, they have a good chance of coming back here next year.”