2013 Spring Preview: Park girls lacrosse team rebuilding midfield, defense in 2013
The Park girls lacrosse team put together a stellar campaign in 2012. With 10 graduates -- including the top three goal scorers in school history -- the Wolfpack will be challenged to improve on its success in 2013.
Last year, Park finished 10-6 overall and reached the Section 5 semifinals, before falling 11-10 to Lakeville North, the No. 1 seed in the tournament and third-ranked team in the state.
However, a number of key players from last year's squad won't be back with the team this year.
In the offseason Park said goodbye to 2012 graduates Allie Thalhuber, Karisa Land and Erica Weidner, who are the three all-time leading goal scorers in Park history and the team's starting midfield last year. Thalhuber scored a Park-record 164 career goals, Land had 68 goals and Weidner had 48 goals. The
The trio combined for 115 goals out of a school-record 193 goals scored last season. Park also graduated Allie Morse, who was the Ms. Lacrosse Goalie runner-up for the state of Minnesota.
"We will be extremely young in the midfield and defensive areas of the field, with almost every position having to be filled," said Scott Leonard, who is in his sixth year as head coach of Park. "However, our attackers are very experienced."
Back in the fold this year are junior attacker Maddie Nelson, sophomore attacker Bailey Aasen, junior Emma Waller -- who will shift from defense to midfield -- senior Ashley Wagenman and senior goalie Bitsy Magee, a team captain.
Nelson and Aasen were the Wolfpack's top two attackers last season, tying for third on the team with 22 goals apiece. Along with Waller, the three players are entering their third varsity season.
This year, Cretin-Derham Hall, Roseville and Stillwater --who were all 8-1 in conference play -- are expected to again lead the way in the SEC.
Stillwater will also likely be the team to beat in the new-look Section 4. Other tough section teams will likely be Mahtomedi and White Bear Lake.
Park kicks off the season on Tuesday, April 16, at home against Rosemount. Other key games include: at Stillwater on April 24, at home against White Bear Lake on April 29, at Woodbury on May 1, at home against East Ridge on May 6.