|5/28/2021 2:49:00 PM|
Chisago Lakes steps out of conference to settle old rivalries
Fans of the Chisago Lakes boys lacrosse team have been treated to some great wins at home as they continued their domination in racking up three more wins. The Cats outscored their opponents 67-15 over the three games in five days.
Head Coach Mark Nordby tries to keep the focus on the process rather than each individual win, however, saying, “The whole purpose of the season is to continue learning and getting better together and then playing the best ball toward the end. I think we're on target to do that.”
Chisago Lakes 23, Sartell/Sauk Rapids 7
The Wildcats uncharacteristically gave up two goals before answering with eight of their own in the first quarter.
“There wasn't any panic. The boys needed to find their rhythm and let the game come out a bit. That's just the way it sometimes goes,” Nordby said.
Henry Reedy got the goals started after nearly eight minutes into the game with a nice double-pump shot for a goal after receiving a nice pass from Kaden Passeretti. Colten Bergquist put in the second goal on a straight down the middle dodge and shot to beat the defender and goalie. Nordby really thinkgs Bergquist is having a great season, saying “he's really stepped his game up this year.”
At the half, the wildcats were up 12-5, but Nordby figured they had it in them to play even better.
In the third quarter, the boys found the back of the net eight more times and the Sabres only twice. Tucker Sachs got things rolling with a shot from the left side from an assist by Reedy. “The guys are very unselfish. It doesn't matter who scores just as long as we get it in the net,” Nordby said.
Aaron Marx used his infamous “Canadian” shot to put in a goal on an unassisted dodge through two defenders. “Instead of switching to the left hand, guys sometimes find it quicker to just crossover with the top hand to shoot. Aaron has found some success with that shot,” the coache noted.
Sachs led all scorers with seven goals followed by JR Willman with five, Carson Erikson and Austin Siefert with three each and several others scoring.
Chisago Lakes 19, St. Michael-Albertville 7
If there was one regular season game the boys had circled, it was St. Michael-Albertville at home.
The Wildcats had prepared by watching film, going over scouting reports, and having their first team meal together consisting of pizza and pop. “We just wanted the guys to be ready to compete hard and be well connected on and off the field,” Nordby explained.
The energy on the field was noticeable as the faceoff commenced. The Knights have had CL’s number the first two seasons. STMA had outscored Chisago Lakes 17-1 and 17-2 in their two match ups. “The boys were determined that his year was going to be different...and it was,” Nordby said after the contest.
The Wildcats and Knights traded goals early in the game to be tied 4-4 after the first quarter with goals by the Wildcats scored by Siefert, Marx, Reedy and Sachs.
In the second quarter, the ‘Cats started exerting their will on the Knights, putting seven more goals in and not letting in a single goal. “The guys started finding each other and the passing was spot on and the goals kept coming,” the head coach stated.
Along with tremendous scoring, the defenseman and goalie Brett Zaruba started getting things worked out and communicating what needed to happen. Nordby said, “They're a smart bunch of guys and always huddle together after giving up a goal to talk about what needs to happen next time to prevent it. They're always looking to improve.”
With zero points scored by STMA in the second quarter, the ‘Cats led 11-4 going into halftime.
The third and fourth quarters continued to be dominated by CL, outscoring STMA 8-3 for a final of 19-7.
“It took an entire team of guys committed to each other and playing great lacrosse,” Nordby said. “Coach Cory Reedy had talked to the offense about good, better and best shots during their film session. Coach talked to the offensive players and told them, 'You could take a good shot but look for a teammate who maybe could take a better or one more pass for a best shot.' They boys did just that in a fantastic win.”
Chisago Lakes 15, Forest Lake 1
The Wildcats continued their non-conference rivalry tour when they hosted the Rangers of Forest Lake in a series that started in 2018. “We know these guys well. We've been playing against and sometimes with each other for many years. It's always fun to take on your neighbors,” Nordby explained.
The Wildcats once again allowed the opposing team to score first as the Rangers put one in early. Too bad for them, it was their only goal.
The ‘Cats put up nine points to lead Forest Lake at half with a score of 9-1. Nordby said the Rangers played solid defense early and it had CL a bit pinned down, but once they scored the first one the pounding began.
Chisago Lakes also honored their 2021 seniors at the game, along with their parents. “This is quite a group of athletes who have played a lot of different sports and lacrosse for many years,” Nordby said.
In the second half of the game, Chisago Lakes played outstanding defense led by seniors Tommy Sargeant and Kai Kerkow, allowing no goals. Sargeant even got in on the scoring. “Tommy's been at this a long time and has wanted to put just one goal in as a defenseman. Tonight was his night,” Nordby said of the fun little scoring play.
Chisago Lakes will wrap up their regular season on Thursday, May 27 by taking on Monticello before the head off into section play to tussle with the big boys.