A week ago, we covered all of the various high school sports playoffs taking place involving Eden Prairie High School (EPHS) teams. Seven days later, a lot has changed.
For some teams, there has been the jubilation of success and advancing to state. On the other side of things, there is the disappointment and despair of defeat. Here is where things stand as we head into the final week of the 2020-21 high school sports season in Minnesota.
As the No. 6 seed in the Section 2-4A softball tournament, it certainly was going to be a tall task for EP to defend its softball section crown. However, the Eagles came quite close.
To open the tournament, the Eagles upset third-seeded Bloomington Jefferson, 2-1. Alexa Mann came through with a home run to help seal the win for her team.
Next up for EP was second-seeded Shakopee. The Eagles made it consecutive upsets as they defeated the Sabers, 5-2.
The next round marked an even bigger test against Chanhassen and star pitcher Sydney Schwartz, a junior committed to play at the University of Minnesota. Schwartz and the Storm emerged victorious, 1-0, sending EP to the loser’s bracket.
With its season on the line, the Eagles rallied with a 2-0 win against Minnetonka. Kari Welter came through for EP with a three-hit shutout.
The win against the Skippers meant the Eagles would be in the section final, needing to beat Chanhassen twice to capture the section championship. EP once again struggled against Schwartz and lost in the first game, 2-0.
The Eagles season ended as they posted a 15-10 record. They also finished second in the Lake Conference and second in their section.
Track and Field
This past week, the boys’ and girls’ teams competed in the Section 6AA tournament. While this tournament focused more on the individuals, the teams’ success was evident in the final results.
On the boys’ side, the Eagles won the team crown after a sixth place finish at the True Team state tournament earlier this spring. EP finished ahead of the host of this past week’s events, Wayzata.
Meanwhile, the girls finished second behind the Trojans and will now have a number of athletes competing in the upcoming state tournament. Miriam Sandeen qualified for state in the 1600. Other qualifiers include Nia Holloway (high jump) and Carolyn Tarpey (pole vault).
These athletes will display on their talents from June 17-19 at St. Michael-Albertville High School.
Much like the softball team, the boys’ lacrosse team had an uphill battle in section play. EP came in as the No. 4 seed in Section 2.
First up, the Eagles met Orono at home and rolled as EP won 15-4.
Next up for the Eagles was top-seeded Chanhassen on the road. Playing in the heat, EP struggled early, falling behind 3-0 and trailing 7-4 at halftime.
In the third quarter, however, the Eagles found their footing. EP outscored the Storm 5-1 in the third quarter and grabbed a lead heading into the final 12 minutes.
The lead would grow for the Eagles as they went ahead 11-8. However, that lead disappeared as Chanhassen scored three unanswered goals, sending the game to sudden-death overtime.
With 40 seconds remaining in the first overtime period, the Storm scored, sending the Eagles home with their season finished.
EP misses the state tournament for the first time since 2018 but may receive some hardware at the individual level. Will Foster, a senior standout for the Eagles headed to play collegiate lacrosse at Marquette, finished the season with a team-best 51 goals and 33 assists. He appears to be someone in the running for Mr. Lacrosse, an award given out each season to the top senior boys’ lacrosse player in Minnesota.
This year’s girls’ lacrosse team found itself in a position no girls’ lacrosse team at EP has found itself before: playing the role of the underdog. As one of the powers in the state, the Eagles have been a regular at the state tournament while also going for state championships.
This year, however, EP was the third seed in Section 2. The Eagles opened things up with a 20-5 win against Orono at home.
Next, it was a road trip to rival Minnetonka. EP topped the second-seeded Skippers with a 16-14 win on the road.
In the section final, the Eagles traveled to Chanhassen, the top seed in the section. Trailing by as many as three goals in the second half, EP rallied and stunned the Storm, 14-13.
With the win, the Eagles advance to this week’s state tournament at Stillwater High School. EP is the fifth seed and will face Benilde-St. Margaret’s on Wednesday at 3 p.m. Streaming and ticket information can be found at MSHSL.org.
After winning the Lake Conference meet, EP decided to take it one step further at the Section 2AAA tournament as the Eagles took home the team crown and are off to this week’s state tournament.
EP made it look easy during the two-day section tournament, defeating second-place Minnetonka by 17 strokes. Rose Baynes finished third overall in the tournament.
The state tournament takes place Tuesday-Wednesday at Bunker Hills Golf Course. This marks the Eagles’ seventh trip to the state tournament. EP is still in search of its first girls’ golf state title.
The boys’ golf team also captured the 2021 Lake Conference championship this spring. However, the boys season did not have the same happy ending at the section tournament as their female counterparts.
The boys’ finished third at the Section 2AAA tournament, 16 shots off the lead. The team’s Twitter account described the finish as “disappointing” but there are plenty of positives looking back at the season. That included Ethan Drummer, a senior who finished first amongst his teammates at this year’s Lake Conference championships.
(Editor’s note: This article was updated on June 15 correcting the third place overall girls golf player to Rose Baynes. EPLN regrets the error.)