These are players that you’ll likely see in the section semifinals. Their play in those games will determine how their team fares. All have had great junior years. Now, it’s time to etch their name in Minnesota high school lacrosse history.
Aidan Anderson, Carter Bies, Tommy Lindberg – Stillwater
This trio was responsible for more than 100 points last year. All three can shoot into small windows. All three dodge to high value spaces. All three have their heads up at all times. If you want to compete for a state championship, this is the type of triumvirate that can take you there.
Owen Carlson – Buffalo – Attack
Carlson will look to improve upon his 2021 production (51G/17A). He’s a unique combination of skill and off ball movement. With another year of unit cohesion, Buffalo will look to avenge it’s section loss to Moorhead, and seek the Lake Conference crown.
Justin Dalum, Cam Gelling, Sam Pikul – Benilde St. Margaret’s
Repeating is tough in any sport. But, the leadership and abilities of these three players give BSM a reason to believe repeating is a real possibility. Gelling gets continually overlooked, and continually makes the opponent pay. He scored 28 times last spring. He plays through contact and has range to stretch a defense.
Dalum and Pikul will hold down the defensive end with Caio Stephens. Dalum is never flustered, and demands that an offense move him for a shot to fall. Pikul is the base. Smart, vocal and skilled. He is the type of defender that makes other defenders better.
Issac Forst & Kiernan Holmes – Minnetonka
Minnetonka put up wins last year based on strong defense and an opportunistic offense. Forst put up 20G/20A. Holmes, a massive but mobile defender, will keep making it extremely hard for opponents to score.
Gordy Gombold & Cody Ringquist – Bloomington Jefferson
Both are exceptionally fast, strong and aggressive. Gombold is the prototypical number one defender that’s fast enough to out quick people and strong enough to hold up to contact. He will be a challenge to every offense facing the Jaguars.
Ringquist has an exceptionally quick release. His 23 goals led the Jaguars last year. He should have more assists in 2022 as well.
Brady Grandstaff & Tanner Johnson – Chanhassen
Grandstaff has a hammer of a shot and is explosive off the dodge. This spring, these abilities will create more room for his teammates. If you don’t have a great goalie, great individual defenders, and a great plan, good luck. And even if you do, Grandstaff will just take a step back and hammer it in from 18 yards. On the other end of the field, Johnson led the team in caused turnovers.
Conor Hooley & Colin Olson – Woodbury
Hooley stops on a dime and watches your best pole fall over himself trying to stop. Then, he throws a leaner to the far upper corner while your goalie is staring at the ground. Olson defends your best midfielder, forces a bad shot, gets the clearing pass, punt-returns it to the offense, splits your best defender, and then shoots from 17 on the run to the opposite hip. The challenge for both will be to incorporate others into the offense so that defenses cannot load up against them with multiple slides. If they do that, we’d expect to see Woodbury in the section final.
Max Hubler – Blake – Defense
Max has prototypical size, can play in space and dictate tempo, while also leading the clear in unsettled. He will be a force for an undermanned Blake team that was hammered by graduation.
Brock Ollila – White Bear Lake – Goalie
Facing 20 shots on goal per game over 12 games, Ollila recorded a 5.83 GAA and a save percentage of .708. This season, buoyed by a resurgent first year group, and a more experienced defense, Ollila will be looking to lead the Bears to a much improved record.
Justin Simonson & Sam Leuther – Prior Lake
Simonson is a lefty attackman that every coach desires. He is both efficient inside and possesses a deadly shot from distance. Simonson tallied 73 points last season. Leuther’s size and shooting skills allow him to both score and draw slides. Last spring, he chipped in 26 points. If the Lakers make their typical parade to the section final, these two will be a major part of that success.
Tyler Kloeckl – Farmington – FO
The best FO player in the state. He will give the Tigers a massive advantage in possessions in most games. Kloeckly has a great first move to create a fastbreak, as well as numerous counters. No opponent should expect to even go 45%.
Luke Whitbeck – Shakopee – Attack
An argument can be made that Shakopee’s wondrous 2021 season doesn’t happen without Whitbeck. His balanced statistics (35G/25A) indicate the impact he had on the Saber offense. He always did what Shakopee needed at the exact right moment.