EDEN PRAIRIE, Minn. (WCCO) — Beth Patterson looks out on her team as they prepare to play for their third straight state title on Saturday.
Patterson’s seen a lot over the years. In 17 seasons coaching Eden Prairie, she’s seen her team capture a total of eight state titles, and seen an awful lot of talent.
But she’s never seen anything like Naomi Rogge.
“She’s – and she’s always been this way – she just has a heart to play the game,” Patterson said. “And she has exceptional athletic ability.”
Patterson says Rogge is the best to ever play girls high school lacrosse in Minnesota.
“She could have gone to play lacrosse at any D-I program in the country,” Patterson said. “She’s just that good.”
The only reason she isn’t going to play D-I lacrosse is that she’s going to play D-I hockey instead – at Minnesota-Duluth.
“It was a hard decision,” Rogge said. “Still wonder if it was the right one to this day and I think it is, but I don’t know.”
Which means Saturday’s game will be the last she’ll ever play.
“I don’t even know what’s going to happen tomorrow,” Rogge said. “It brings me to tears now, because it’s something that’s been a part of my life for a while. It’s hard to say goodbye to the coaches, the girls, everything. But it’s been a hard week knowing that it’s the last week of lacrosse for sure.”
The only way she can see it ending is going out on top.
“I hope I rise to the occasion,” Rogge said. “I hope I leave it all out there because I know it’ll be the last time, but I don’t know, it’s going to be interesting tomorrow. A lot of emotions, for sure.”