Boys Lacrosse: Eden Prairie too much for Mayo

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Mayo's Justin Adams (15) tries to cut and make a move during play against Eden Prairie during the state lacrosse quarterfinals on Tuesday at Chaska High School.

CHASKA — Rochester Mayo knew what it was getting into.

It was also giddy for the opportunity. After all, this Spartans boys team was the first Rochester collection — boys or girls — to be playing in a state lacrosse tournament.

Was it going to be easy? Absolutely not. It was No. 1-ranked and unbeaten Eden Prairie that the Spartans took on Tuesday night in the state quarterfinals at Chaska High School.

And while it sure wasn't easy — with Mayo falling 16-3 — it was satisfying none the less.

These Mayo boys were acting as trail-blazers for Rochester lacrosse. And they couldn't have been more thrilled to do it, no matter Tuesday's score.


"It's definitely a fun experience playing in a state tournament," Mayo senior goalie Troy Penz said. "And I think we absolutely showed this year that we can compete. Maybe the next Mayo team that comes up to the state tournament will do even better than us."

Mayo entered the game 11-4, and coming off a Section One championship in which it beat Lakeville North, but lost its best player en route. That was senior attacker Mike Fix. Without Fix, the Spartans were relying — at least offensively — on a cast of promising, but young players.

The Spartans also entered knowing that Eden Prairie was star-filled, led by the state's Mr. Lacrosse, senior Jake Woodring, and seasoned. The Eagles had finished second in four of the last seven state lacrosse tournaments.

And Mayo? Prior to this season, not only had it never been to state, but it had never advanced past the second round of the section playoffs.

"Eden Prairie just has so much depth," Mayo coach Eric Moore said. "We just don't have that. But I thought we competed really hard. Our guys have a lot to be proud of, in being (in the state tournament)."

Eden Prairie started to go to work just over six minutes into the contest, finally solving Mayo standout goalie Penz. That was when junior Charlie Venable got a shot past the Spartans senior.

And then there was another Eagles goal two minutes later, this time senior Brooks Armitage. And then came another 78 seconds later, this one by Venable again.

That gave Venable and Armitage 31 goals apiece on the season. But what makes Eden Prairie special is that Venable and Armitage are just part of an overwhelming attack. Seven of Eden Prairie's players entered the game with at least 16 goals. The leader was Woodring, with 35.


"They just have so many shooters," said Penz, who faced 30 shots.

Mayo, by contrast, entered with just three players with as many as 16 goals. And one of them was the injured Fix.

It all led to Eden Prairie taking control early, building a 3-0 first-quarter lead.

That's not to say Mayo never had its moments. It definitely did. It used the first part of the second quarter to make the Eagles blink. First it was sophomore leading scorer Ethan Moore connecting on a diving goal with him flying in from behind the net. Then it was junior Wyatt Ryan firing a shot past Eden Prairie goalie Max Fahey. It would be one of two goals by Ryan on the night.

"It's always fun to score," Ryan said.

But that Eden Prairie blink didn't last long. It followed up Mayo's flurry with an even bigger one of its own. It outscored the Spartans 3-0 the remainder of the half, including Armitage getting his third goal of the game. Just like that it was in control, leading 6-2.

And the Eagles were just getting started. They outscored Mayo 7-0 in the third quarter, officially putting the contest away.

Eden Prairie 16, Mayo 3



Eden Prairie#3#3#7#3#—#16

Mayo:Ethan Moore 1 goal; Wyatt Ryan 2 goals, 1 groundball; Jacob Orvidas 1 groundball; Nick Fix 4 groundballs, Loren Lorang 1 groundball; Max Jorde 1 groundball; Zach Lorang 1. Goalie: Troy Penz 15 saves.

Eden Prairie:Brooks Armitage 5 goals, 3 assists; Charlie Venable 3 goals; Sam Gravelle 1 goal; Jake Woodring 1 goal; JD Spielmann 2 goals, 1 assist; Ronnie Spielmann 1 goal; Nic Bentz 2 goals, 1 assist; Ryan Connelly 1 goal. Goalie: Max Fahey 2 saves.

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Mayo goalie Troy Penz readies himself against Eden Prairie during the state lacrosse quarterfinals on Tuesday at Chaska High School.

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