Woodbury boys lacrosse: Royals six-game winning streak stopped by Stillwater
Woodbury's six-game winning streak came to a halt last week on a goal in the closing seconds of a Suburban East Conference game against Stillwater.
The loss represented the lone blemish on the Royals' otherwise spotless record, and head coach Jason Worwa wasn't the least bit troubled by the outcome.
"We kind of chalked it up as a team win anyway," he said of the May 8 road loss.
Up to that point, the Royals were playing winning lacrosse, but weren't having a great deal of fun along the way, Worwa explained.
"Our ultimate goal is to go out and have fun," he said. "We were kind of losing sight of that."
In a practice leading up to the Stillwater game, his players began being less hard on themselves and Worwa said that renewed enthusiasm shined through on game day.
Woodbury claimed a 7-6 lead with about 40 seconds left in the fourth quarter, but it didn't last. Stillwater won the ensuing face-off, stormed the field and scored the game-tying goal.
The Ponies lodged the game-winner on the next possession on a goal from behind the net with 12 seconds remaining.
"It was kind of a heartbreaking loss for our guys," Worwa said, but added "nobody felt too terrible after that game."
The loss followed a string of wins for Woodbury against SEC foes Hastings, Mounds View, Park, Forest Lake and Roseville, as well as a nonconference win over Minneapolis Washburn.
Worwa, Woodbury's first-year coach, said heart and hustle have been keys to the most successful beginning to a season in history of the program.
"Lacrosse comes down to a lot of pure drive - especially in the ground ball game," he said.
The Royals have also benefited from a balanced scoring attack, along with strong play from defenders and freshman goaltender Chris Rolfing.
Lee Broadbent is Woodbury's leading scorer with 22 points, including 13 goals. Jack Lyden has 17 points on the season so far off 13 goals, followed by Trey Lervick's 15 points (seven goals). Both Logan Dirkx and Bryce Fanning have 11 points apiece for Woodbury.
Rolfing has built a 4.85 goals-against average and a 5-1 record, having stopped 51 of 81 shots faced.
"He plays older than he is," Worwa said of the ninth grader. "We forget how young he is because he plays so well. He's been stellar."
Woodbury now turns its attention to a week of tough SEC competition, which began Monday, May 13, against conference leader White Bear Lake.
The Royals play host Wednesday, May 15, to Cretin-Derham Hall, before closing out the week on Friday, May 17, in a home game against Rosemount.
"The boys know they have a big challenge ahead of them," Worwa said.
Section play, which will involve a new slate of teams comprising more from the SEC than in years past, kicks off May 28.