Cardinal girls’ lacrosse blowing teams away

The Coon Rapids girls’ lacrosse team has clinched its second-straight conference title after yet another blowout win on Monday.

Brianna Havelka, Katie Wolter and Libby Storrick cross center field during a May 9 game against the Champlin Park Rebels. The Cardinals added to their win streak, beating the Rebels 14-8 and upping their win-loss record to 8-2 after that game. Photo by Sue Austreng

Brianna Havelka, Katie Wolter and Libby Storrick cross center field during a May 9 game against the Champlin Park Rebels. The Cardinals added to their win streak, beating the Rebels 14-8 and upping their win-loss record to 8-2 after that game. Photo by Sue Austreng

The Cardinals have certainly found an offensive rhythm lately. Since losing to Armstrong 10-9 on April 30, Coon Rapids has defeated Centennial 14-4, Andover 18-2, Champlin Park 14-8, Hill Murray 14-8 and now Blaine 21-6.

Four girls – Bri Havelka, Sammi DeJoy, Chelsea Cyert and Katie Wolter –  have helped out with more than 30 points this season.

“All four are quick and fast,” head coach Jeff DeJoy said. “All four love to take it to goal. All four love to score. It is quite a foursome.”

Things haven’t always been this peachy thanks to losses against Stillwater and Armstrong earlier this season.

“There are times when you want to wring their necks and other times when you want to give them a round of applause,” DeJoy said. “We went through periods of time where some people put personal goals and accomplishments ahead of team goals. That didn’t go over very well. Once we got past that poor decision making, things improved.”

After defeating Blaine on Monday the Cardinals cliched at least a tie for the Northwestern Suburban Conference title with Champlin Park and Armstrong.

“Champlin Park beat Armstrong,” DeJoy said. “Armstrong beat us and we beat Champlin Park, so we have that triangle thing going on.”

The Cardinals tied for the conference title last season with Centennial.

“That makes two conference titles in the four years of our program’s existence – not too bad,” DeJoy said. “That is a nice feather in the cap of our girls.”

The next order of business is to take care of some unfinished business. Last season the girls had such a good regular season, but fell short in the section final losing to Stillwater.

If anything, DeJoy is a little concerned about overconfidence. After winning by such large margins most of the season, the girls haven’t played many meaningful minutes late in games.

“I always worry that the girls will just think that those things happen and forget that they have to make those things happen,” DeJoy said. “I work hard to keep them level-headed and not let them get overconfident, yet they have to still be able to take a step back and enjoy what they have accomplished.”

If the Cardinals keep the high-powered offensive machine running, the Cardinals season could last to June.

“I would be afraid to play us,” DeJoy said. “We have so many weapons and the second best defense in the state. We apply a lot of pressure all over the field. We have a lot of girls who like to win and will give it their all in every game.”

The Section 4 playoffs are scheduled to begin on May 24 and it takes four straight wins to get to state beginning June 5.

Stillwater appears to be the Cardinals’ toughest hurdle. Coon Rapids is 0-4 against Stillwater.

Mahtomedi is also in the midst of a solid season and it’s tough to beat a team such as Champlin Park twice in a season.

“The girls are hungry and we are ready,” DeJoy said. “Now it’s just time to see what we can do.”

Andy Rogers is at andy.rogers@ecm-inc.com


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