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Tori Tschida's inability to catch and throw a ball with her stick increased her frustration at an introductory lacrosse clinic and decreased her likelihood of staying with the sport.

"I was pretty young then. Obviously, that got better with time," Tschida said with a laugh.


Tschida works magic with her stick these days. Now a senior midfielder, Tschida led Lakeville South (17-0) into this week's state tournament. The Cougars seek their second state title in three years.

Tschida, a Swiss Army knife in sneakers who does a little bit of everything for South, is the Star Tribune's Metro Player of the Year.

Tori Tschida's statistics

Around the same time Tschida was struggling through her lacrosse introduction, she began playing with current senior midfielders Sivanna O'Brien and Katie Grubbs. Those three all-state talents are captains forming the core of South's team.

"They've been seeing me take draws since we started playing together in fourth grade," said Tschida, a 5-11 midfielder who committed to play college lacrosse at Temple. "So a lot of the time I don't even have to tell them where I'm putting the ball. They can just watch my body language and know.

"There are passes that I throw to them that I would never trust with anyone else because I know they will get it. And you'll see Katie throw no-look passes. We have a chemistry like no one else."

Coach Joel Tornell tested his team's resolve by adding Edina and East Ridge to a schedule that already included longstanding nonconference opponents Benilde-St. Margaret's, Chanhassen and Stillwater.

The players didn't flinch.

"This is our most well-rounded team since I've been in this program," Tschida said. "Every single person can score on this team. Teams probably watch film and still don't know who to lock out. There are too many of us."

Tschida said there is enough scoring opportunity for all.

"Our coach is all about the 'we' rather than the 'me,' and as captains, we tell our teammates, 'You don't need six goals a game,' and I feel like everyone follows the precedent," Tschida said. "We've been good about getting the younger kids involved off the bench. And we're good about celebrating the little things. You'll hear a lot of, 'Hey, nice assist.' "

Tuesday's girls lacrosse state tournament quarterfinal pitted undefeated Lakeville South against Cretin-Derham Hall. The Tschida surname is well known at the St. Paul private school. Veteran major league baseball umpire Tim Tschida graduated from Cretin when it still was an all-boys school. Tori said the two are not related.

Her father, Chris, was deeply involved in her lacrosse success from those rather humble beginnings.

"My dad promised to buy me a new stick, and that is the reason I stayed with it," Tschida said with a laugh.

Past Metro Players of the Year

2023: Emily Moes, Lakeville South

2022: Claire Nelson, Andover

2021: Haley Reeck, Edina

2020: No season

2019: Kacie Riggs, Eden Prairie

2018: Reagan Roelofs, Apple Valley

2017: Naomi Rogge, Eden Prairie

2016: Megan Menzuber, Holy Family

2015: Logan Halvorson, Lakeville South

2014: Lydia Sutton, Blake

2013: Sutton