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East Ridge boys lacrosse: Raptors bounce back and keep the cup

East Ridge saw its unblemished record and conference lead disappear in a flash last week, but the team regrouped to oust Park and keep the Warrior Cup.

The Raptors beat the Wolfpack 10-4 on Wednesday, May 7, to hang on to the traveling trophy between the three South Washington County public schools. It also got the Raptors back on track after a tough loss at Suburban East Conference front-runner White Bear Lake.

“I’d rather have the loss now than the playoffs,” Raptors coach Aime Caines said. “We’re going to push our guys harder to not have that happen again where we lose close games like that.”

In a battle between the conference’s top two teams, the Bears prevailed over the Raptors 9-8 in overtime on May 5. Randy Wilson had kept East Ridge in great shape for much of the game with four goals.

He scored on a power play to tie the game in the second quarter and got the lead about two minutes later, 4-3. Wilson rallied the crew in the third after the Bears had taken a 6-4 lead on three unanswered goals.

The senior midfielder sparked a three-goal run for the Raptors late in the third period. Mac Webb and Jacob Wetterstrom kept the momentum going with two goals in the first 34 seconds of the fourth quarter.

Evan Woodward gave the Raptors a two-goal edge at 8-6, and they maintained a one-goal lead until the final minute. White Bear’s Ethan Peterson scored the game-tying goal to send it to overtime. Peterson then broke the Raptors’ hearts with a goal 30 seconds after an East Ridge penalty in the extra frame.

“It was a big test for us to really show where we’ve come in this last year,” Caines said.

Raptors goalie Peyton Bixby finished with 10 saves. Killian Wilson and Nathan Scott both had   assists in the loss.

“We learned a lot from that game and took away that we are a really good team,” Caines said. “We’re going to compete for the number one seed this year, and that’s our ultimate goal.”

East Ridge looked a like a No. 1 seed against the Wolfpack with 10 goals on 20 shots. Killian Wilson scored a goal and assisted on one. Randy Wilson led the offense with two goals and two assists.

Jacob Wetterstrom and Grant Edwards each had two goals and two assists. Drew Nicholson added a couple of goals, and Jack Dwyer put one in the net. Bixby had six saves in the victory.

“There’s a lot of emotion in that game, and the kids know each other,” Caines said. “Emotions were high, and it was a very physical game.”

East Ridge (7-1, 5-1 SEC) will host Mounds View at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.

“They’re one of those teams we haven’t gotten by yet,” Caines said of Mounds View.

The Raptors then host winless Forest Lake (0-5, 0-6 SEC) at 7 p.m. Monday, May 19.

—Matthew Davis