By TIM SULLIVAN
FOR THE PIONEER
The Orono Boys Lacrosse team finished the 2017 regular season with a very respectable 9-4 record, with three of the four losses one-goal overtime defeats to ranked teams.
The final three games of the season were all away, starting with Breck.
On Saturday, May 20, the two teams battled under truly adverse weather; 40 degrees and driving rain, with a handful of diehard Orono fans braving the elements.
Despite the poor conditions, the Spartans were up 4-0 at the end of the first quarter and extended their lead to 12-0 at halftime, with a ‘hat trick’ goal by junior Jackson Zilverberg. The third quarter ended at 16-0. Breck scored with three minutes remaining in the game with a man-up goal.
Orono exhibited great passing and stifling defense, led by junior captain Evan Babekuhl.
The penultimate contest was at Chaska, under much more favorable conditions.
The two teams have some history, as the Hawks eliminated Orono from the playoffs last year in an upset victory. The first quarter saw Chaska go up 3-2. Orono battled back in the second to go ahead 5-4 at halftime. The Spartans pulled away in the second half, spoiling Chaska’s senior night, ultimately winning by a 13-6 margin.
The final regular-season contest saw Orono travel to Class AA Minnetonka. The Skippers went up 2-1 at the end of the first period, as their goalie made three fantastic saves.
Despite a handful of turnovers, Orono found themselves in the game at half with a 5-2 deficit. Minnetonka pulled away in the second half, outshooting the Spartans 30-15 for the game, which ended in a 13-4 loss.
Sectional playoffs will begin on Thursday, June 1 with a game against Shakopee.