Nick’s Notebook: Girls’ soccer has best chance of any Lakeville North team to win state

Hannah Cade sets up for a powerful kick in the regular season. Photo by Jim Lindquist
Hannah Cade sets up for a powerful kick in the regular season. Photo by Jim Lindquist

This Lakeville North girls’ soccer team could be the team that wins Lakeville North’s 2015-2016 state title.

In each of the past three school years, one Panther team won a state championship—volleyball in 2012-2013, boys’ basketball in 2013-2014 and boys’ hockey in 2014-2015.

The 2015 girls’ soccer team has the best chance of any Lakeville North team to continue the state-title-streak.

Each state championship team in the past three years showcased premium talent. The volleyball team featured Minnesota Gopher Alyssa Goehner. The boys’ basketball team showcased Xavier Muskateer J.P. Macura. The boys’ hockey team boasted six Division-I skaters—most notably the Poehling brothers.

Lakeville North girls’ soccer’s Goehner, Macura and Poehling is Iowa State commit Hannah Cade, who not only is a Division-I athlete, but also won the 2015 award for Ms. Soccer, and was named Star Tribune Metro Player of the Year.

Cade, though, is only one part of a Panthers’ lineup with all-state talent. Cade was named first team all-state, but fellow midfielder Haley Steel, goaltender Taylor Lock and defender Temi Carda all received second team all-state recognition.

Two of Lakeville North’s leading goal-scorers in the regular season, Alexis Tousignant and Lauren Witte, both present a threat to opponents.

Although the offense is impressive, the defense is what led the Panthers to a 13-1 record. With players such as Carda and Stephanie Schaffer, an Augustana University commit, on the backend, opponents have struggled to score. Combine the two with the stellar play from Lock in net, Lakeville North hasn’t given up a goal since Sept. 10.

But, having a talented team and receiving the No. 1 seed in the state tournament doesn’t directly translate to a state title. Minnetonka, the No. 1 seed in Class 2A, showed this last night, losing to Minneapolis Washburn, a random-draw team, in the first round of the state tournament.

The Panthers face random-draw Blaine in the first round of state at 5:30 pm on Thursday at Chisago Lakes High School. 

Other notes:

  • The girls’ soccer team may have the best chance at winning a state title of any team at Lakeville North this year, but it won’t be the only team competing for one. The No. 1 seed Panthers’ football team will play No. 2 seed Osseo in the state quarterfinals at Eden Prairie High School on Thursday at 7 pm. Look for this game to be filled with scoring as both teams have electric offenses. The game features two of the top running backs in the state in Osseo’s Prince Kruah and Lakeville North’s Wade Sullivan. Kruah has rushed for 1374 yards and 13 touchdowns, with 618 of those yards coming in the first two games of the postseason. Sullivan has rushed for 1349 yards and 17 touchdowns in 2015, and comes into the game against the Orioles with a 232 yard, two touchdown performance last week. Neither team has a stout defense, so the team that can come up with just a few stops will likely move on to the next round.
  • Lakeville North basketball player Carter Brooks verbally committed to Concordia—St. Paul last night. The senior averaged 9.8 points per game in 2014-2015.
  • The Lakeville North volleyball team begins postseason play on Wednesday night with a game against Faribault. The Panthers hold the No. 8 seed while Faribault holds the No. 9 seed. The winner moves on to the next round of section play, and will face No. 1 seed Lakeville South, the No. 3 team in the state as voted by the coaches association.
  • This week, I’m starting a weekly video update called North with Nick. With the help of talented videographer Nick Lieser, I’ll produce a video update on the Lakeville North sports scene. Look for a link later today for this week’s edition. I hope to continue it throughout the rest of the year.

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