Lacrosse: At last, a little action! ERZ girls open (indoors) with 12-11 win over Crimson

Mackenzie Perna of ERZ went over the top of the Maple Grove goalie for one of her three scores. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
Mackenzie Perna of Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman went over the top of the Maple Grove goalie Maddie Salas for one of her three scores. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


by Bruce Strand, Sports editor

With yet another April snowstorm whipping up outside, the Elk River-Rogers-Zimmerman girls lacrosse team was able to open its season indoors at Maple Grove’s sports dome on Monday.

Just being able to play was a happy enough occasion, but as a nice bonus, the ERZ girls pulled out a come-from-behind 12-11 victory, too.

Mackenzie Perna, crossing the net with 50 seconds left, backhanded the ball past the goalie for the game-winner. ERZ had trailed 6-1 early and chipped away the rest of the game, finally catching up with about two minutes left.

A duel for the ball at midfield. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
ERZ’s Aliz Zierden at left and Annie Dalton at right duel for the ball at midfield with Brittany Thrndson of Maple Grove. (Photo by Bruce Strand)


Asked what turned it around, coach Stephanie Anderson said, “We changed up our defensive and offensive sides, and made sure the girls started making strong passes and staying on the girls they were supposed to guard.”

Scoring three goals each were Perna, Michelle Klimstra and Emily Antony, who also made three assists. Alix Zierden, Jessica Edwards and Alleah Baltzer also had a goal each. Kayley Forster, Perna, Baltzer and Annie Dalton each made an assist. The goalie for the first half was Cassie Conrad and the second half was Kim Scott.

For Maple Grove, Michelle Lynch was the big gun with six goals, and Brittany Throndson had two.

Tough month for sports

Virtually every Elk event on the April sports calendar has been postponed or canceled due to the late winter. The lacrosse schedule starts later than the other sports so the ERZ girls had only one game postponed  and fortunately the second opponent on their schedule has an indoor facility. The Elk boys lacrosse team was slated to open outdoors against Maple Grove on Monday but it was called off during the first quarter.

The ERZ girls next schedule game is home Wednesday vs. Anoka at 6:30 p.m.

Anderson’s debut as solo coach

This was Anderson’s first game as solo head coach. The former Andover High School and Minnesota Lakers Select player has been with the program two seasons and served as co-head coach with Jeannette Bankes last year. Bankes stepped down due to her business commitment. Anderson is a college student and works in a child care center.

ERZ player carries the ball with a Crimson defender right on her. (Photo by Bruce Strand)
ERZ’s Michelle Klimstra, who notched three goals, carries the ball with MG’s Jessie VanKeulen right on her. (Photo by Bruce Strand)