2012 Spring Preview: Is Woodbury still the lacrosse team to beat in District 833?Last year, the Woodbury boys lacrosse team had a historic season. This spring, the Royals will need to replace a ton of scoring if it hopes for a repeat performance.
By: Patrick Johnson, Sports Editor, Woodbury Bulletin
Last year, the Woodbury boys lacrosse team had a historic season. This spring, the Royals will need to replace a ton of scoring if it hopes for a repeat performance.
In 2011, for the first time in school history, the Royals advanced to the Section 5 playoff semifinals with wins over Roseville, 6-5, and Edina 8-6. But, in the semis, Woodbury’s season came to an end with an 11-1 loss to No. 2-ranked Blake.
This spring, Woodbury is entering its fifth season in the Minnesota State High School League and its third as a non-cooperative program. In south Washington County, lacrosse began at Woodbury High School, with Park having a few players in the cooperative program. After East Ridge opened in 2009, the three area high schools formed a one-team cooperative for one year. In 2010, however, Woodbury was separated and East Ridge and Park formed a cooperative for the past two seasons.
Last year, Woodbury finished under .500 with a 5-8 overall record, but was 4-2 in the Suburban East Conference and lost seven games by two goals or less. Mounds View won the Suburban East Conference title last year with a 6-1 record and was 10-2 overall. Woodbury finished second, followed by White Bear Lake and Stillwater.
Following the season, the Royals graduated 14 seniors from its roster, including its top six scorers.
Woodbury scored 142 goals in 2011 and brought back players that scored only 10 of those goals.
Mr. Lacrosse finalist Ben Alberts led Woodbury in scoring with 72 points on 35 goals and 37 assists. Blake Bergherr was second with 64 points on 36 goals and 28 assists and Matt Wardell had 20 points on 16 goals and four assists. However, each were 2011 grads.
Top returning scorers for the Royals are seniors Joey Lindberg and Evan Erickson. Lindberg had seven points on seven goals in 2011 and Erickson had three goals and one assist for four points a year ago.
Senior goalie Josh Erickson returns to the lineup again this season. Erickson played in eight games last season going 3-5 with a .594 save percentage.
In all, Woodbury has 12 seniors, 10 juniors and two sophomores on its roster to start the year.
Woodbury kicks off the season at Forest Lake on Monday, April 16. Its home opener will be Wednesday, April 18, against Hastings – which is brand new to the Suburban East Conference this year.
Woodbury takes on East Ridge for the “SoWashCo Cup” for a third time on Monday, May 14. Two seasons ago, the former teammates faced off against each other for the first time for the “SoWashCo Cup” with Woodbury coming out on top 7-3. Last year, the Royals retained bragging rights — and the “SoWashCo Cup” trophy — with a 13-6 win.
Not long after Woodbury plays East Ridge, the section tournament begins Wednesday, May 23.