State boys lacrosse: Spuds run into BSM's buzz saw
Undefeated and top-seed Benilde-St. Margaret's scored in bunches and knocked Moorhead out of contention in the state quarterfinals on Thursday.
STILLWATER, Minn. — Moorhead was well aware its margin for error was razor-thin against top-seed Benilde-St. Margaret’s in the Minnesota state boys lacrosse quarterfinals on Tuesday.
The defending state champion Red Knights entered with a 16-0 record, averaging almost 15 goals per game. It’s pretty much the same outfit that soundly defeated the Spuds in last year’s quarterfinals.
It didn’t take long for Moorhead to learn that there are, indeed, margins thinner than a razor.
A hail of goals in the first quarter, a costly Moorhead error late in the first half and more quick-strike goals to open the second doomed the Spuds to a 19-4 loss at Stillwater High School.
The loss sends the 12-4 Spuds against No. 5 seed Woodbury in a consolation game at 1 p.m. Thursday, June 16, at Roseville High School. The 17-0 Red Knights play No. 4 Stillwater in a semifinals game at 5 p.m. Thursday. Stillwater advanced with an 18-5 win over Woodbury on Tuesday.
The Spuds started strong defensively, holding the Red Knights scoreless for almost five minutes to start the game. But when BSM got it going, the goals came quickly.
Dylan Popehn scored the first of his three goals with 7 minutes, 20 seconds left in the first quarter. Just more than a minute later, Carsen Brandt scored the first of his four goals. Brandt scored again 29 seconds after his first goal, and Brad Little scored 74 seconds after Brandt’s second. Robby Hoyt made it 5-0 with a goal 26 seconds after Little’s score. Five goals in 3:18.
But after that flurry of goals, the Spuds settled in, tamped down the Red Knights’ attack to a degree and got a break when Oliver Judd scooped up a BSM turnover to the left of the goal and scored his 21st of the season with 10:06 left in the first half.
The Knights righted themselves quickly, taking advantage of an edge in faceoff wins and Spuds turnovers. Red Knights’ leading scorer Cam Gelling scored the first of his four goals with 9:32 left in the half, and Luke Drews scored at 7:55 for a 7-1 lead.
Moorhead goalie Gavin Lindberg made several big saves, including one with about five seconds left in the first quarter. He stopped another with about 8-1/2 minutes left in the half and another about four minutes later.
The Spuds appeared on the verge of building some momentum to carry into the second half. Judd set up Cody Martinson’s power play goal with 53 seconds left to make it 7-2 and Lindberg made another key save with about 20 seconds left. But that’s when any hope of a second-half rally all but died.
After Lindberg’s save, the Spuds promptly turned it over in their end. Gelling scooped up the ball, charged unimpeded up the left sideline, turned on goal and beat Lindberg from point-blank range with one second left in the half, making it 8-2.
In the third quarter, the third of three Spuds turnovers in the first three minutes led to Brandt’s third goal of the game with 9:42 left in the quarter. Gelling got his own hat trick with 8:37 left, then won the faceoff, cruised to the net and scored his fourth goal just five seconds later. Seven minutes later, Drew scored to make it 12-2 at the end of the third.
BSM’s Sky Rold made it 13-2 with a goal in the first minute of the fourth quarter. Judd broke the Spuds’ second half scoring drought less than a minute later, taking a high hit that snapped his head back but keeping his balance and ripping a close-range shot into the net.
The Red Knights’ Popehn scored his second of the game just over a minute later and Moorhead’s Matt Peters scored unassisted with 7:33 left in the game, making it 14-4.
Brandt scored his fourth of the game, and Canon Mills, George Mobraaten, Little and Popehn scored goals in the final 3:23.