The Mankato girls lacrosse team is coming off a conference championship last year.

KEYC News 12 Sports Rob Clark caught up with the Big Nine champs as they prepare to defend their title in 2018.

"We knew that we really didn't have anything to lose because we were at the bottom of the conference and only won one game so we had to work hard to show that we were good enough to be in our conference and prove ourselves from the year before, so we had a lot of motivation from that," said Shelby Lund, Mankato senior. 

Mankato won't sneak up on any teams after flipping the script last year to not only win the conference, but host a playoff game.

"It was kind of unexpected, but we worked really hard and we came together as a team, and we decided we were going to do this, and we did," said Elizabeth Peller, Mankato senior.

This season, the squad returns many key starters as Mankato gears up for 2018.

"This year, our defense is going to be really good, and team chemistry," said Claire Johnson, Mankato junior.

"We have a lot of girls that lay it all out there on the field, they're a fun group to work with. I'm blessed with some great leadership on the team with my four captains. They don't make it like coming to work every day, it's just every day is a lot of fun," said Sean Sletten, Mankato head coach.

"We have a lot of goal scorers, and the three attack really have a lot of good chemistry, and our center can come in and help. We really know how to drive in to the net," said Hanna Helms, Mankato senior.

Mankato's first game of the season is scheduled for next Thursday against Rochester Mayo.

--KEYC News 12