Owatonna, Mayo Meet Again and Resume Playoff Rivalry
Owatonna and Rochester Mayo meet for the fourth time this season Wednesday at 7PM at Graham Arena in Rochester in the quarterfinal round of the Section 1AA playoffs on KRFO AM1390. The Huskies have led late in each of the three previous games, but Mayo scored in the closing minutes twice and went on to win those games in overtime. The Spartans have limited Margo Achterkirch, Owatonna's leading scorer, to no goals and just two assists this season.
There was a time that the section title went through Owatonna and Mayo. From 2001 to 2007 the teams combined to make five state tournament trips and played each other in the playoffs in five of those seven years. Mayo holds the 4-3 edge over Owatonna in career head-to-head playoff games. The most recent meeting was in 2010 with Mayo winning 3-2 in double-overtime after tying the game late in regulation.
Neither team has won a section title since 2007. Farmington is the defending section champ. The Lakeville schools have otherwise dominated the section in recent years with Dodge County finishing second three times in the last five years. It's been quite a few years since a Big Nine team has even appeared in the section final.
Owatonna (15-8) has dropped four of their last five games, including a 3-2 overtime loss at Mayo. Two of those games include ranked opponents with Red Wing and Wayzata. Mayo (20-5) has won six of their last seven, but did not play as challenging a non-conference schedule as Owatonna.
Achterkirch has 30 goals and 20 assists to lead the Huskies' attack. Chloe Schmidt, Maylynn Prokopec and Sydney Hunst all have double-digit goal totals. Mayo's Brooke Leone has 57 points with 34 goals and 23 assists. The Spartan's other top scorers are Megan Adair (30-18, 48 points), Eryn Fjelsted (20-26, 46), Devynn Priest (14-15, 29) and Maddi Lutz (12-16, 28).
Owatonna has spent the last two seasons in Section 1A, reaching the semifinals last season and the section final two winters ago. Owatonna has not won a Section 1AA playoff game since 2011. Wednesday's winner will play the winner of the Dodge County at Lakeville South game. The other quarterfinal match ups are Northfield at Lakeville North and Rochester Century at top-seed and defending section champ Farmington.