From The RAVE Club Team To The Wild Irish - Now We Are
Eagan Wildcats Girls Lacrosse!
2003 started a new era in girls sports in the south subarban area. The RAVE (Rosemount-Apple Valley-Eagan and Eastview) Girls' Lacrosse Team held its inaugural season in 2003. The RAVE team was one of 27 teams in the Northcentral Schoolgirls Lacrosse Association (NSLA) which was a precursor to the MSHSL adoption of girls lacrosse. In 2006, led by Garnet Asmundson the RAVE team finished the season in second place in the conference with an 8-2 record. The team took 5th place in the NSLA State Tournament, which was held May 16-20, 2006. The RAVE team recorded three wins and one loss in the tournament.
Inaugural season of girls lacrosse in District 196. Eagan and Rosemount High Schools formed a cooperative team known as the Wild Irish (combination of the two schools' nicknames, Wildcats and Irish). The program fielded enough players for a varsity and a junior varsity team. They were led by former RAVE assistant coach Angel Bodine. The varsity season ended with a record of 0-10.
More growing pains. Season record 0-11.
The Wild Irish record the first wins beating Visitation, Owatonna and Apple Valley. They ended the season 3-11.
The Wild Irish established a new team record with a regular season finish of 10-3 overall. They also finished 4th place in the Lake Conference with a 5-3 record. The Wild Irish recorded first ever sectional playoff victories as well. The team won two sectional games before losing to eventual section champion Lakeville and finishing the season with an overall record of 12-4.
The Wild Irish had an up and down regular season finishing at .500 with a 6-6 record overall and a 3-6 record in the newly formed South Suburban Conference. The post season was a completely different story. The #7 seeded Wild Irish went on a section run for the record books. After beating an overmatched Park team 11-5, the Wild Irish upset conference rival and #2 seed Lakeville North, 9-8, by scoring five goals in the last five minutes. The tying and winning goals were scored with 35 seconds left in the game. Then, for an encore the Wild Irish upset district rival #3 seeded Apple Valley. The Wild Irish scored three unanswered goals in four minutes left in the game to win 14-13. Reaching the section finals for the first time in its history, the Eagan-Rosemount girls came up a little short losing to #4 seed Bloomington Jefferson, the eventual state third place finisher. The section run ended with an 11-9 defeat which ironically was the same score as the regular season. The section runner-up Wild Irish team ended an amazing playoff run with an overall season record of 9-7 in their final season as a cooperative team.
The inaugural season proved to be a steep learning curve for the new Wildcats Girls Lacrosse team. There was steady improvement from the girls throughout the season and a few wins. The Wildcats first win came against Totino Grace in a non-conference match up, beating the Eagles 15 -11. The highlight of the season came in historic fashion when the Wildcats faced the Rosemount Irish in the tenth game of the season. Our former cooperative partners and new rival pulled out a come from behind win to edge our girls 25-24, an unofficial state record for combined points in a game. The wildcats held a 7 point lead with about ten minutes left but the Irish chipped away at it and eventually took over to finish the scoring and secure the Clover Cat traveling trophy. The Wildcats first conference win came in the second to last game against Prior Lake taking all 50 minutes to beat them 16 to 15. The season came to an end with the 14th seeded Wildcats playing the 3rd seeded Bloomington Jefferson High School in the first Round of the Section 3 playoffs. The Wildcats held a lead for the first part of the game but eventually the Jaguars put the game out of reach with a final score of 20 - 14.
2013 The Never Ending Winter
The 2013 season started somewhat normally with tryouts and the Minnesota Meltown Scrimmages on a sunny April 6th day and then everything changed. The team wouldn't practice outdoors again until the third week in May. Almost half of the games had to be rescheduled and only one game was played in April. This meant that, 12 games were played in a three and a half week period. Many games were played in the rain and freezing rain and the first Apple Valley game was snowed out! Pregame warm ups were done in a light drizzle at Burnsville High Schools turf field but by game time, the lines on the field were covered by an inch of snow. When the weather conditions allowed them to play, the Wildcats recorded one more win than the previous season ending with a 3-10 regular season which included a win over Kennedy High School for the first time ever. The Wildcats also notched a very satisfying 16-14 victory over arch rival Rosemount claiming the Clover Cat traveling trophy for the first time. The season ended with a loss to Eastview in the section quarterfinal game in the newly reorganized Section 3.
2014 Steady Growth
The 2014 season provided some weather related issues but not like the previous season. Only two regular season games had to be rescheduled this season. It turned out to be a good decision rescheduling the Rosemount game; under ideal weather conditions that evening Eagan claimed the Clover Cat trophy from our Rosemount rivals for the second year in a row. Prior to the Rosemount game, the team was off to a good start with two straight wins against Visitation and Hastings but the season then turned into a lesson in perseverance and how to finish games. The Wildcats played four contests with a one point difference in score but only won one of them. There was also a very close, two point, almost comeback against Lakeville North which ended with the Cats coming up a little short again. The regular season concluded with the Wildcats notching one more win than 2013 at 4 - 9. The season ended at Burnsville with a loss in the Section 3 quarterfinal game. Eagan had the lead until late in the second half when Burnsville's senior heavy offense woke up and took the lead to put away the Wildcats 13-9.
2015 Best Season Ever
The Wildcats Girls Lacrosse team gained their first winning season in 2015 with an overall record of 9-6! The Wildcats also, took care of some unfinished business in non-conference play this season beating a highly ranked Coon Rapids team for the first time in four tries. They also, finally put away a very good Owatonna team on their home field. With those wins and solid performances against Minneapolis and Bloomington Kennedy, the Wildcats had their first undefeated non-conference record. In the conference, Eagan continued their dominance over arch rival Rosemount beating them for the third season in a row to keep the Clover Cat traveling trophy. They also had a thrilling overtime victory beating district rival Apple Valley for the first time 13-12. The Cats were one win away from a winning conference record but ended the season at 4-5 and with the 3rd seed in the Section 3 playoffs; their highest seed of any previous season. The girls beat 6th seeded Bloomington Jefferson 17-9 for their first section win in team history and went on to face another district rival Eastview. The first Eastview game during the regular season was an epic come back with the Wildcats seconds away from tying the game but they couldn't come up with the equalizing goal. In the section semi-final game, Eagan was overwhelmed by a fired up, senior dominated Lightning squad. It wasn't the Wildcats day losing to the Section 3 runner-up 17-10. The last game not-withstand, 2015 was a fun and enjoyable ride with the program making major strides. The JV team was also very successful, being one loss away from an undefeated season. Many of those players will help fill the void of losing a very talented graduating class.
With many skilled, experienced players coming back and a new coaching staff, the 2016 Eagan Wildcats Girls Lacrosse team should be a force in the South Suburban Conference. The expectations will be raised to take the next step in a newly arranged section in the upcoming season!