Tied at two goals apiece at halftime with upset-minded Cretin-Derham Hall, Lakeville North's boys lacrosse team took a predictable approach to get minds right.
"We said that we know who we are and we had to find our game," sophomore midfielder Lane Johnson said.
It didn't work. Cretin-Derham Hall dominated the third quarter with three unanswered goals in the Class 4A state tournament quarterfinals Tuesday at Stillwater High School.
North tried a different message.
"We talked about not letting it worry us," Johnson said. "We knew we could come back strong."
And the second-seeded Panthers did, clawing back for a 7-5 victory against Cretin-Derham Hall (10-7). Johnson scored to tie the game 5-5. Then he gave the Panthers a lead they would not relinquish.
"Their defense stumped us for the first three quarters," Johnson said. "But we trusted each other and played well in the fourth quarter."
The victory sends Lakeville North (15-2) to the semifinals at 3 p.m. Thursday at White Bear Lake to face No. 3 seed Shakopee. The Sabers beat the Panthers 15-6 on May 16.
Lakeville North will be a slight underdog in the semifinal, a label Cretin-Derham Hall coach Matt Hourigan is accustomed to wearing while proving folks wrong and securing the first state tournament appearance in school history.
"We've been the underdog since our section semifinal," Hourigan said. "We've played spirited, organized and disciplined."
The Raiders defenders were in sync Tuesday.
"When they are doing it right, it looks like a symphony orchestra," Hourigan said.
The unit hit a bum note in the final quarter.
"You can hold back a good team for only so long," Hourigan said.
Shakopee 12, Chisago Lakes 3: Shakopee senior Linus Toward received a game ball after his team's quarterfinal victory against Chisago Lakes.
The gesture commemorated Toward's 200th career goal, one of the four goals he scored in the game. Toward had no idea the milestone was drawing near. Showing well in the first state tournament game in Shakopee's history consumed his focus.
He and the No. 3 seed Sabers (15-3) succeeded.
"Each guy trusted in the rest of his teammates," Toward said. "None of us had been here before, so we came into this game as one."
Brothers within the brotherhood, Linus and younger sibling Landon scored a combined seven goals.
"I love playing with him," Linus said. "Having him on the team makes it more special."
The Sabers, led by defender Tanner Bachelor, held the Wildcats (15-2) to their lowest scoring output this season.
"Our passes were too soft, and that had a lot to do with the Shakopee defense," Wildcats coach Mark Nordby said. "They are pests who challenge you inside and when you try to go outside."
Prior Lake 10, Mahtomedi 6: Prior Lake junior attackman Jack Tocko knew what folks were thinking when his team started this season 1-4.
"People started doubting us," Tocko said.
Um, wait. The Lakers have reached the past five title games. But then, maybe that was partially to blame — too many Prior Lake players believing past success was transferable.
More urgency came when the Lakers changed their lineup because of injuries and a few attitudes.
"We had guys who weren't bought in," Tocko said. "Even me, I would say at points during games, 'I've got to do this.' Now it's, 'We've got to do this.' "
A team effort pushed the Lakers to a victory against Mahtomedi in the third quarterfinal Tuesday.
No. 4 seed Prior Lake (13-4) never trailed against No. 5 seed Mahtomedi (12-5). The Lakers jumped to a three-goal lead and the Zephyrs never cut their deficit to fewer than two goals for the remainder.
Prior Lake, a team with one victory in its first five games, extended its winning streak to 12 games.
"We're lucky to be here," said Tocko, who tallied a hat trick. "We're grateful."
Fellow junior attackman Max Anderson scored two goals. For Mahtomedi, senior midfielder Isaac Wendorff scored twice.
"We had to battle back against pregame jitters," Zephyrs senior midfielder Nolan Dimitri said. "And Prior Lake is a good team. They can all pass and catch. And they were the more physical team."
Benilde-St. Margaret's 16, Moorhead 4: Benilde-St. Margaret's head coach Giuseppe Palermo asked for a show of hands after Tuesday's victory in the state tournament quarterfinals against Moorhead.
"Raise your hand if you thought we played to our potential," Palmero said. No hands went up.
The message was clear for a Red Knights team aiming to complete this season with a third consecutive state championship and run its winning streak to 50 consecutive games.
BSM's road to the half-century mark took a curious turn in the quarterfinal. Forced to dig a little deeper, No. 1 seed Benilde-St. Margaret's (17-0) pulled away from a dogged Moorhead team.
The Spuds were facing BSM for a third consecutive time in the quarterfinals. They lost the previous two meetings by a combined 36-5 score. The teams played also May 9, with BSM winning 16-1 at home.
Yet Moorhead seemed poised to change its fortunes, battling to a 5-4 halftime deficit.
"There were some heads down at halftime, especially the defensive players," said senior long stick midfielder Caio Stephens. "We left a lot to be desired."
Stephens pulled the defense and goalie Axel Esco together and urged them to unite. Then he busted out an old favorite from last season, calling the entire team together and asking, "Who's got the juice?" The message helped restore fire and purpose to a team in need of a better second half.
The Red Knights never allowed another Moorhead goal. But the Spuds (15-2) did not lay down Tuesday.
"That's one of the reasons I like playing them," Stephens said.
Senior Carsen Brandt and junior Dylan Parker each tallied three Red Knight goals.
BSM advances to the semifinals at 5 p.m. Thursday in White Bear Lake to face No. 4 seed Prior Lake. Those two teams decided the past five state title games.