John Molene / Sports Writer
Asked their weakness, most golfers can readily point to one thing or another -- their long game, their short game, their irons, their accuracy, reading the greens. The list of problem areas can be a long one. Asked her weakness on the golf course, Woodbury junior-to-be Aayushi Sarkar doesn’t subscribe to that kind of thinking. Asked what’s the worst thing that could happen to her on the course, Sarkar’s response is telling.
Woodbury head coach Bryan Orlenko said he was hoping for a top four finish in the 2018 girls state golf meet, and after day one, the Royals are right where he hoped they'd be. Woodbury golfers played well Tuesday in the first day of the Class AAA two-day girls state tournament at Bunker Hills Golf Club in Coon Rapids. The Royals are tied for fourth heading into the second day with a team score of 334.
The Fridinger boys, Caleb and Luke, stayed alive in the Class AA doubles Thursday in the 2018 state boys tennis tournament. The East Ridge duo dropped their opening match to Mounds View's Christo Alex and Michael Cao Thursday morning, losing 6-1, 6-4. But they then scored a solid 6-3, 6-3 win over St. Cloud Tech's Kevin Heller and Richard Zimring in the first round of consolation play to remain in the tournament. "We were aggressive today," said sophomore Caleb Fridinger. We were good as a team. On the short balls we moved in. We were aggressive at the net.
At halftime it was a laugher, Eagan up 8-3. But with 9:45 to play, it was all tied up at 8-all. With 4:24 to play it was a 10-all game. And then the roof fell in for the East Ridge Raptors. Visiting Eagan scored with 1:44 to play and the Wildcats held on to knock the Raptors out of a berth in the state boys lacrosse tournament for the second time in three years, winning 11-10 Thursday.
It was a head-shaking game for Thunderbolts head coach John Culbertson. Culbertson would look at the field, look at the scoreboard, and then shake his head. South Washington County threatened to end the game early several times, but North Suburban kept battling back. Finally it was over, and the South Washington County Thunderbolts had a 22-10 victory and a third-place finish in the 2018 state adapted softball CI Division tournament at Coon Rapids Saturday.
Senior Mackenzie Lawrence scored three goals and Park got past visiting East Ridge 10-3 in Section 3 girls lacrosse Friday evening. With the victory, Park advanced to the section semifinals and will host third-seeded Minnehaha Academy at Park Tuesday, June 5, at 7 p.m. Winner of that game plays June 7 at East Ridge for the section championship.
East Ridge, Park and Woodbury athletes all had their turns to shine Thursday in the Section 3AA track and field meet, but no one shone brighter than East Ridge's Allyson Weiss. Weiss won both titles in the Section 3AA triple (39-11.75) and long jumps (18-08.25) at the University of St. Thomas Thursday, ran the anchor leg on East Ridge's winning 4x200-meter relay team and finished fourth in the open 200. Weiss's winning long jump was a personal best by four inches.
It was an easy win for the host Woodbury Royals. But now the battle gets much, much tougher. Woodbury played perhaps its best lacrosse of the season and routed visiting Hastings, winning 16-3 in the first round of the Section 3A girls lacrosse playoff. "We just played really well as a team and we passed really well," said Woodbury senior midfielder Jessica Franz.
NORTH ST. PAUL—The last time around, it was the Woodbury Royals who laid the lumber to Stillwater, winning 13-3 on May 15. This time the roles were reversed. Stillwater started on fire at the plate and never let up in a 15-8 Section 4AAAA victory Tuesday afternoon at McKnight Field. It was the fourth straight section victory for the Ponies, who knocked off Tartan, Mounds View, Cretin-Derham Hall before meeting Woodbury.
Unlike its first two section games, Woodbury just couldn't get anything much going at the plate and dropped a Section 4AAAA championship bracket contest to host North, losing 8-1 at McKnight Field Friday. The loss dropped the Royals in the section consolation bracket, where they will have to win three straight games to return to the state tournament. Woodbury (9-12) will play Stillwater (10-12) Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. in the consolation finals for a shot to advance to the section finals Thursday.