19 June 2013

Girls Lacrosse: Another winning season

All-State performer Rachael Welzin: 56 points (photo by Jim Lindquist)
After a sluggish 1-5 start the young Tigers came on strong to post their second straight winning season, finishing with a final 8-6 record.

Coach Dan Pickens' team closed the regular season on a six-game winning streak and for the second year in a row won its opening round post-season contest.

Perhaps the brightest news for Pickens and his young program is that only one player, Rathminee Hach, will be lost through graduation.

Pickens awarded varsity letterwinners to Hach and 16 other players at the team's post-season awards banquet: juniors Shaye Jenrich, Kylee Glen, Lindsay Benson, Mikayla Todd, Delaney Johnson, Kaeli Halverson, Rachael Welzin and Maddie Kohlbeck; sophomores Jess Herrera. Michaela Tonsager, Becky Genzler and Shelby Klotz; freshmen Jill Tollefson and Brooke Genzler and eighth-graders Amanda Davenport and Ashley Steffes.

Welzin had an outstanding junior season, finishing with 56 points on 42 goals and 14 assists. Those exceptional numbers and her inspired play earned her all-state recognition.

Shelby Klotz: 35 goals, 7 assists (photo by Jim Lindquist)
Klotz also had a big offensive year for the Tigers, piling up 42 points on 35 goals and seven assists. Goaltender Maddie Kohlbeck posted all eight wins will compiling a goals-against average of 8.80.

Pickens reeled off several other season highlights, including the late-season winning streak, the playoff victory over Rochester John Marshall, the wintery season "snownaumi" game with Prior Lake and Hach scoring her first career goal on Senior Night.

"I also appreciated all of the time we had working as a team indoors when the weather wouldn't let us practice outside," he said.

Pickens said he is looking forward to next season when Northfield and Shakopee are expected to add teams to make lacrosse an official Missota Conference sport.

"We only lose one senior and will have some girls moving up from a seventh and eighth grade team that finished fourth in the state," he said. "And our junior varsity lost just its second game in two years.

"We have been getting better and better each year and hopefully next year we will have something to celebrate. Our focus will be on the state tournament."

Maddie Kohlbeck: 8.80 goals-against average (photo by Jim Lindquist)