By STUART GROSKREUTZ
HASTINGS – Wrapping up its fourth straight Suburban East Conference championship, Stillwater breezed to a 24-2 girls’ lacrosse victory over Hastings on Monday.
The sixth-ranked Ponies finished 8-1 in conference play to tie Cretin-Derham Hall (8-1, 9-3) and Roseville (8-1, 10-3) atop the final standings. Stillwater (10-2) closes out the regular season at Centennial on Thursday and a victory will likely lock up the top seed for the Section 4 tournament, which begins with first-round games on Monday.
The top seed receives a bye into the quarterfinals, which are slated for May 23.
Stillwater extended its winning streak to six games and has not allowed more than five goals in to an opponent since falling to No. 1 ranked Blake on April 28.
Remi Larson delivered five goals on Monday to lead the Ponies, who also received four goals apiece from Dana Almquist and Katie Casto. Maggie Corman and Emma Wiessner also notched three goals each as Stillwater stormed out to a 17-2 halftime lead.
"Before the game we talked about playing their very best regardless of the competition," Ponies coach Rick Reidt said. "Hastings is a new team and our team team has a lot more experience.
"In the first half we were a little sloppy with passing and catching, but in the second half – and especially when the less experienced players came in – they picked up the intensity of catching and passing, which is really the key to the game. Even though we didn’t score as many goals in the second half, we finished the game a lot better than we started."
Hastings is a first-year varsity program so Monday’s result was not a huge surprise, but the Ponies were also pleased with the play of varsity newcomer Hannah Glasrud, a freshman defender.
"All of our players had significant playing time," Reidt said. "We played a couple of new girls we wanted to get a look at."
n Also on Monday, the Stillwater JV team remained undefeated this season with a 21-0 victory over Hastings. Tori Dahl led the Ponies (11-0) with six goals while goaltender Britt Pooley notched her second shutout of the season.
Goals – St, Remi Larson 5, Dana Almquist 4, Katie Casto 4, Maggie Corman 3, Emma Wiessner 3, Kate Sheely 2, Sydney Evensen, Jennifer Jorgensen and Carter Sanderson.
Assists – St, Almquist 2, Sheely 2, Larson 2, Erin Dougherty 2, Tessa Roush and Clara Wicklund.
Saves – St, Marie Bonine 2.