by Bob San
SUN PRESS NEWSPAPERS
Maple Grove’s first ever appearance in a section girls’ lacrosse final ended in disappointment as the second-seeded Crimson dropped a hard-fought contest to top-seeded Elk River 12-8 June 5.
“The section finals game really came down to the two teams that I felt were the most talented in our section,” Maple Grove coach Morgan Kingstedt said. “The game was close. We had more pipe shots in that one game than we had all season. Those shots, as well as the rain, didn’t help. There seemed to be a spark missing from our play, in terms of connecting on passes and finding the net more often, though the girls really fought until the end of the game.”
The loss ended a fine season for the Crimson, who finished 11-5 and earned their first section final. Kingstedt said the players and coaches all had a lot of fun.
“I’m proud of our girls as we had an excellent season,” Kingstedt said. “It is such a solid group of girls and families that make coaching so enjoyable. Many of our graduating girls have been in our program for four, five years, so I’ve gotten to see them grow up as young adults and really develop in their lacrosse skills. There has been a lot of press about the negative sides of coaching and I’m so thankful I experience so little, if any of that working with our program. We really stress integrity and good sportsmanship on our team and I think that results in a very enjoyable program mentality for everyone.”
Kingstedt and the Crimson are looking forward to the summer lacrosse league that has area teams and coaches participating to help improve the level of play in the area.
“Elk River, Rogers, Zimmerman, Maple Grove, Osseo/Park Center, Becker, Blaine, and St. Michael-Albertville are all represented in our league,” Kingstedt said. “We all play in the same section — besides Blaine, so it’s great that we all are working together for our girls in this sport.”