Final seconds favor the Elks

by Eric Oslund

Sports Reporter

The Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman girls lacrosse team hosted Centennial on Monday, May 15. It was a back-and-forth game that came down to the final seconds.

Raelyn Korinek led the Elks in scoring against Centennial — netting seven goals, including the game winner. (Photo by Erik Jacobson)

Centennial led 12-10 with under three minutes remaining, and maintained possession of the ball. There was some concern that the game was going to slip away, but the Elks knew what they had to do if they were going to be the ones to come out on top.

“We knew that we needed to win the draw and control the ball right away. That’s what we were emphasizing,” senior captain Raelyn Korniek began. “On the offensive end, we made sure to take advantage of any opportunity we got and be sure not to turn the ball over. On the defensive end, we were really focus on marking up close to the other team and not letting them get any opportunities to take any shots.”

Things were not looking good for the home team, as the clock continued to tick away, but then they were able to create a turnover and convert it into points to make it 12-11. Then they regained control of the ball soon after that and scored again to tie it up.

ERZ goalie Emma Dalton makes a game-saving stop on a shot by Centennial’s Elizabeth Jensen, in the closing seconds of the game, to preserve the 13-12 victory. (Photo by Eric Oslund)

Korniek was then able to draw a penalty with 23 seconds remaining in the game and was granted an 8-meter shot. She would bury it, giving the Elks a 13-12 lead with less than 30 seconds remaining.

“It was really exciting,” Korniek said of scoring that goal. “It had been really close throughout the whole game so everyone was pretty excited. We knew we hadn’t won yet, and we needed to be sure to control the ball for the last 20 seconds.”

But things would not go as planned. Centennial would get their own chance at an 8-meter shot with two seconds remaining. It all came down to this. Either the Elks would seal the victory, or the two teams would keep playing.

The shot went rifling towards the net, and it was ERZ goaltender Emma Dalton coming up with the big save. Holding onto the 13-12 come-from-behind win.

“That last shot was nerve wracking, and as I watched Emma make the save it was really exciting,” Korniek recalled. “Everyone ran over to her and celebrated the big win. We were all pretty excited.”