April 27, 2018 at 1:16 p.m.
The boys opened their season on Monday, April 23 against reigning Greater West Metro Conference champion St. Michael-Albertville, and the girls opened the next day against Sartell-Sauk Rapids.
The boys lacrosse team took the first faceoff in school history, and after winning that, not much went right for them afterwards. The inclement weather prior to that day had caused the Wildcats to miss three games that would’ve been a great litmus test before facing St. Michael-Albertville. “It was a tough first outing and not quite what all of us envisioned in a first game for Chisago Lakes,” Head Coach Mark Nordby explained. “But, it was a great night for lacrosse and it felt good to finally be on the turf field.”
The Knights scored early and often in their match up with Chisago Lakes, winning 17-1 in a rout. “St. Michael was undefeated in the conference and played in the section finals last year and they also won their first game 24-0,” Nordby said. “There will be other tough teams and we will not overlook any team this year but that was a tough game, first or not for any team to face. They already look ready to compete against any team in the state.”
There was still some positives, however. Max Martin scored the first goal in CL’s history. The junior took a pass at the right wing early in the third quarter and dodged in towards the net, tucking a shot in the upper right corner over the goalie’s shoulder for the momentous goal. The game was out of reach at that point, but it was still a nice moment for a lot of coaches, parents and athletes who had put in a lot of work to get lacrosse recognized as a varsity sport at Chisago Lakes.
Despite the tough match up early on, Nordby understands that the ‘Cats have plenty of work to do, regardless of who they play.
“We have a lot of work to do with ball movement, ball possession, winning ground balls, and finding the open shooter,” he noted. “Our defense had some good moments but, STMA had some very fast dodgers and got by us several times and also could shoot from a ways out. This is the type of loss that gets your attention real fast, so we as a coaching staff will look at the game film, pick out some positives and work like crazy on the things we need to clean up. The guys are working hard and this will help us get even more dialed in. Welcome to the MSHSL.”
The games will come fast and furious now. The ‘Cats travel to Buffalo on Thursday, April 26 to take on the Bison and then take a trek up to Proctor to faceoff against Grand Rapids on Saturday, April 28. Their next home game is a Monday, April 30 date with St. Cloud at 6 p.m.
The girls fared a bit better in their first match up of the year, a home contest against the Sartell-Sauk Rapids squad on Tuesday, April 24.
It looked early like the Wildcats were a bit lost and Sartell, a team featuring nearly 70 players, took advantage, scoring the first five goals of the game. It seemed a rout was on, but then it seemed a light switch flipped for the Wildcats.
Led by the first goal in CL girls lacrosse history by Abby Sprado, the ‘Cats seized momentum back in the final minutes of the first quarter. Sprado followed with another goal to cut the deficit to 5-2, and then an aggressive move from Madison Phillips chopped the lead to 5-3 before the break.
The rest of the game was played very evenly, with Sartell outscoring Chisago Lakes just 2-1 and winning 7-4, an impressive showing for their first game and being down 5-0 in the first 10 minutes of the game. Molly Hill made some impressive saves in her first live game action as goalie.
“The girls did very well considering we only had one day of full field practice,” Head Coach Dezera Sieracki said. “We had been working on bits and pieces of the game but they brought it all together and it was great to see. We still have room for improvement as always, but it was a great start to the inaugural season for the Wildcats!”
The Chisago Lakes junior varsity squad did pull out a narrow 6-5 victory over the Sartell team.