GHSA Boys Lacrosse 2019 Championship Previews

By: Brian Zwerner — SportalNews contributor

May 16, 2019 (Atlanta, GA):  The boys championship games are set.  Here are the Sportal previews of the action to come this Saturday.

6A-7A Boys
The Lambert Longhorns are back in the championship game for the second straight year, following on their 4th GHSA championship last season. The Longhorns tallied an 8-4 win over Lassiter in the semis behind strong play from Drew Kotanian, Gerard Kane, and Benny O’Rourk. Lambert has been dominant all season, posting a 20-1 record. Their only loss this season came to A-5A championship contender Lovett a month ago. The Longhorns will be tough in the championship game as they look to complete their season long “Drive for Five” championships campaign.

They will face off with the Walton Raiders in the championship game this Saturday. Walton has one GHSA lacrosse championship from 2011, and they are hungry to add a second. Coach Griffin Spotz’s team brought a great defensive effort against Centennial in the semis with an 8-3 victory. Centennial had scored 10 or more goals in their three previous playoff games before the Raiders shutdown their high-powered offense. The Raiders got great contributions from Harran, Floyd, Hellman, Pritts, and more. They bring a 20-2 record into the title game, with losses only to semifinalist Lassiter and A-5A finalist Westminster.

The squads will square off on Saturday at Kennesaw State for the 6-7A title.

A-5A Boys
Building on a successful 2018 season, the Westminster Wildcats advanced to the finals by beating the 2018 champ Blessed Trinity in a 12-10 shootout Wednesday night. In the semis, Dylan Farley controlled the X for the Cats, with goals from Farley, Tristan Ferrari and Denton Shamburger with two assists from Jake Jameson. This season the Wildcats have been on fire, sporting a 20-3 record heading into the final match of the season. Their three losses have come to 6-7A powerhouse squads, and the Wildcats beat their rival Lovett 9-8 in overtime back on April 5th. Last year Coach Souza’s squad fell in the semifinals to runner-up GAC. The Wildcats have won five GHSA championships in lacrosse, the most recent in 2017.

The Wildcats will face off against their Buckhead rival Lovett Lions in the championship. Lovett notched an 11-8 win over 5A Buford in the semis last night. The Lions got multiple goals from Quinn O’Donnell vs Buford and jumped out to a big lead early. Lovett has racked up a 18-4 record on the season, with their losses coming to 6-7A schools and Westminster. The Lions fell in the first round of the playoffs to GAC last year. Lovett has scored three GHSA lacrosse championships, but the most recent was back in 2009.

We will see on Saturday, May 18th which Buckhead programs gets back to the top of the mountain.

Peach State Pulse: Boys Lacrosse 2018 State Championship Preview

By: Jacob Gastonberry — sportalspace contributor

Class 6-7A State Championship- Lambert (21-0) vs. Lassiter (17-4)

Warriors vs Cavaliers. Alabama vs Clemson. Lambert vs Lassiter. The trilogy is upon Georgia lacrosse as Lassiter and Lambert compete for the state championship for the third-straight year. Lambert took home the title in 2016 with Lassiter exacting revenge in 2017 with a 10-5 win. The road to the finals was a bit different this season as both teams had to squeak out overtime wins.

In a shootout, Lambert went on the road and won 15-14 in come from behind fashion. After trailing late in the fourth quarter it took a goal with under 10 seconds left from Jonny DiVirgilio to tie it up. In overtime it was Benny O’Rourk, catching a skip pass from Ryan Overbay, who dodged the approaching defender and buried in down low to send Lambert back to the state championship looking for their fourth title in program history.

Lassiter started the season 3-2 before winning 14 of their next 16 games including knocking off North Gwinnett in overtime courtesy of Braden Erksa. Leading by one with 30 second to go the Trojans fouled and gave North Gwinnett a chance to tie late and the Bulldogs took advantage. Lloyd deLatour stepped down off a pass from Jack Ortolano to tie with three seconds left before Erksa’s overtime heroics.

These two teams are yet to meet this season but are very similar. Both offenses will be led by First Team All-State selections. For Lambert attackman Kyle Lewis is the quarterback for the offense down low while DiVirgilio triggers the offense from up top. Lassiter is led out of the midfield by Murphy Mostellar. Lassiter’s balanced offense leads to opportunities for any player on the field to be the leading scorer that game. This game could come down to which defense executes their game plan better.

 

Class 1-5A State Championship- Greater Atlanta Christian (18-3) vs. Blessed Trinity (17-3)

The State Championship game in Class 1-5A will see a pair of Area 3 teams going at it again this spring. GAC came away with a road win at BT on April 20th 11-5 to claim the region title. BT will be looking for revenge after coming off a close semifinal victory.

Blessed Trinity took down Kell 10-9 in the Final Four thanks to a goal from Noah Jones with under three minutes to play. This advanced the Titans to the title game and a chance to win their first State Championship in program history. It was a back-and-forth game throughout with the score being tied by Kell with just over three minutes to play before Jones put in the winner.

GAC avenged their semifinal loss to Westminster last year by taking down the Wildcats 9-6 behind hat tricks from Michael Morris and Michael Malone. It was a game that GAC controlled early before turning away a late run from Westminster.

GAC All-American Josh Rose was the story of the regular season tallying five goals in the win over Blessed Trinity. However, this game could come down to the specialty positions. Both teams have great netminders who can take over a game and frustrate shooters. For Blessed Trinity junior Bric Nicholas anchors the Titan defense while junior Peter Kluber and defenseman Chandler Dula lock down the back end for the Spartans. With great defense and goalie play this game could come down to who has more possessions and that will start at the faceoff X. Alex Poma for the Titans vs. Nick Jones for GAC could be the key match-up to watch Saturday at 6pm at Kennesaw State’s Fifth Third Bank Stadium.

Kate Miller’s late goal sends Westminster into Class 1A-5A Lacrosse quarterfinals

By: Robert Hydrick — sportalspace contributor

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May 7, 2018 (Atlanta, GA) – Senior captain Kate Miller was a leader when her team needed her the most as Miller’s goal with 46 seconds left gave A2 #2 Westminster a thrilling 20-19 victory over A3 #3 Pinecrest Academy in the first round of the GHSA Class 1A-5A girls lacrosse tournament Monday afternoon at Thompson Stadium.

Miller’s fifth goal of the match also completed a comeback for the Wildcats who were trailing 17-14 with just over 17 minutes to play.

The two squads came out attacking from the opening faceoff as the Paladins and Wildcats combined to score 25 goals in the 25 minute first half.

Pinecrest’s Alex Tilkin scored five times in the first half as the Paladins took a 9-6 lead with just under 10 minutes to play if the first half.

After a timeout, Westminster answered back with five straight goals in less than five minutes to take the lead at 11-9.

Molly Dankowski scored twice and Tilkin scored her final goal of the first half to put Pinecrest back in front 12-11.

But Miller and her fellow team captain Catrina Prestia had back-to-back goals in the final two minutes to give Westminster a 13-12 lead at halftime.

Dankowski came out ready to attack in the second half as she scored four straight goals to give the Paladins a 16-14 lead.

Nikia Brown’s goal stretched the lead to three for Pinecrest.

It was Westminster’s turn to answer and two goals from Elizabeth Trense and goals from Lizzie Maxwell and Kate Carson tied the game at 18 with just under seven minutes to play.

Dankowski’s sixth goal of the half and ninth of the game with six minutes to play put the Paladins back in front.

Saige-Simone Hayes tied the game with five minutes to play as it looked like the last team to have the possession was going to advance.

That was the case as Westminster was able to rebound a missed Pinecrest shot and moved the ball up the field setting up Miller for the game winning goal.

Westminster will advance to face the winner of A1 #1 Marist/A4 #4 Union Grove in the quarterfinals later this week

Pinecrest Academy finishes the season 14-4.

Allatoona staves off resilient West Forsyth

By: Andrew Garner — sportalspace contributor

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May 2, 2018 (Acworth, GA) – The A5 #4 West Forsyth Wolverines visited the A1 #1 Allatoona Buccaneers to face off in the first round of the Class 6A-7A state playoffs. Allatoona was able to advance narrowly with a 5-4 victory over West Forsyth after a grueling game.

Things were heated from the get-go and Allatoona took a long stand on offense to start things off. They moved the ball strategically, wearing West Forsyth’s defense down. The Wolverines got their first look on offense with seven minutes left in the first quarter, but Allatoona quickly regained control. Despite the Buccaneers controlling the pace, West Forsyth was able to score the first goal of the match with two minutes left in the first quarter.

Allatoona went right back to work in the second quarter. Just a few minutes in they were able to even up the score. They scored again in the second to take their first lead of the game. The back and forth affair continued in the third quarter as West was able to score two goals to give them a one score lead.
It happened again in the fourth. Allatoona was able to score twice to regain the one goal lead. West pushed back hard in the final two minutes and managed to score a goal, but simply ran out of time to tie the game up.

Allatoona was led in scoring by Cameron Carter with two goals. Amiri Austin scored one goal for the Buccaneers and compiled a team-leading four ground balls. Their keeper, Sean Byrne, tallied 10 saves.

The Buccaneers will move on to face A6 #3 Mill Creek in the second round of the playoffs. The two teams did not face each other in the regular season. Mill Creek is coming off a big 20-9 victory over East Coweta in the first round. Allatoona will host Mill Creek on Monday, May 7 but a match time has yet to be set.

Sydney Sheahan propels four-seed Pope to Sweet 16

By: Cody Butler — sportalspace contributor

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May 2, 2018 (Lawrenceville, GA) – A4 #4 Pope overpowered A8 #1 Archer 10-4 on the road in the first round of the GHSA Class 6A-7A state playoffs Wednesday night. The Greyhounds (12-7) broke the game open with a 5-0 run in the second half to close out the victory. Senior captains Sydney Sheahan and Amelia Tomasulo led the charge for Pope offensively. Goalkeeper KC Collins and the Greyhound defense smothered Archer’s leading scorers and kept the Tiger offense quiet in the second half. Archer’s season ends at 8-8.

Archer won the opening draw and scored the game’s first goal in the opening minute. Captain Jessica Flynt netted her first of two goals to push Archer out front 1-0.

Pope rallied off three consecutive goals as the Greyhounds found their rhythm offensively. Sheahan beat her mark for the third goal of the game to lift Pope up 3-1 after the first 10 minutes.

Archer trimmed the deficit to one in the final minute of the half on a goal from Flynt, but Pope immediately answered with a goal in the final 20 seconds to go back up by two at halftime.

Similar to the first half, Archer won the opening draw and found early success. Kayleigh Burns picked up the loose ball and tossed it in an empty net to cut the lead to one.

Pope ended the momentum shortly after and controlled the final 20 minutes of the game with five more goals to pull away from the Tigers, 10-4.

Flynt found the back of the net twice for the Tigers but spent the majority of the night being suffocated by a smothering Greyhound defense. Burns and Mikaela Carlsen each added a lone goal in the contest for Archer.

Pope travels back to Gwinnett County next Monday night in a Sweet 16 matchup against Brookwood (13-4-1). The Broncos advanced with a 16-13 opening round win over North Paulding.

Peach State Pulse: 2018 US Lacrosse All-Americans/Class 6A-7A GHSA Lacrosse All-State Teams

Compiled by Jacob Gastonberry — sportalspace contributor

This week’s lacrosse PSP takes a look at the Class 6A-7A All-State teams as well as the US Lacrosse All-Americans as voted on by the coaches. Congratulations to everyone on this list for their hard work paying off with recognition.

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US Lacrosse All-Americans

Attack
Nicky Solomon – Centennial
Kyle Lewis – Lambert

Midfield
Jonny DiVirgilio – Lambert
Peter Salit – Johns Creek

Defense
Justin Sherrer – Etowah
Donovan Lilly – Lambert

Goalie
Noah Johnson – Northview

LSM
Nick Ganem – Cambridge

Face Off
Phil White – Lambert

Academic All-American

Nicholas Varghese – Walton
Emmanuel Green – Milton
Evan Black – Johns Creek
Carter Johnson – Lassiter 

 

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First Team All-State

Attack
Nicky Solomon – Centennial
Kyle Lewis – Lambert
Ryan Siracusa – Centennial

Midfield
Jonny DiVirgilio – Lambert
Peter Salit – Johns Creek
Murphy Mostellar – Lassiter

Defense
Justin Sherrer – Etowah
Donovan Lilly – Lambert
JP Robinson – Roswell

LSM
Nick Ganem – Cambridge

Goalie
Noah Johnson – Northview 

Face Off
Phil White – Lambert

Second Team All-State

Attack
Ben Hull – Kennesaw Mountain
Gerard Kane — Lambert
Sam Metzinger – Pope

Midfield
Jackson Muoio — Etowah
Ryan Overbay — Lambert
Khory Reid – Hillgrove

Defense
Andrew Grohovac – West Forsyth
Will Caylor — Northview
Drew Michalek – Walton

LSM
James Grohovac – West Forsyth

Goalie
Chase Stoddard – Milton 

Face Off
MP Thomas — Roswell

Third Team All-State

Attack
Bailey Williams – Mill Creek
Brian Orr — Etowah
Choice Mostellar – Lassiter

Midfield
Keegan Sigler – Cherokee
Max Kane – South Forsyth
Cole Tyson — Pope

Defense
Reed Weinberg – Johns Creek
Ryan Sadighian — Cambridge
Hank Manning — Lassiter

LSM
Brian Kye – Johns Creek

Goalie
Nolan Hayes — Grayson

Face Off
David Hovis — Lassiter

Peach State Pulse: Lacrosse (4/25)

By: Jacob Gastonberry – sportalspace contributor

 

Peach State Pulse

As lacrosse season hits the final week of the regular season some playoff spots and positioning is still up for grabs. Below, the Peach State Pulse takes a look at some key matchups to keep an eye on this week.

Class 1-5A
Area 2 this season was dominated by defending state champion Westminster as they went undefeated in region play en route to a 13-5 record. After that is where things get interesting. Kell, Lovett and Pace Academy are all tied in area with records of 6-2 having all beat each other.

Seeding of 2-4 will be important as Area 2 matches up with Area 3 which is led by GAC who has been to back-to-back semifinals. With GAC’s win over Blessed Trinity last week they can win the area with a victory over Buford this week and lock up the No. 1 seed. A GAC win would give Blessed Trinity the 2-seed and Buford the 3-seed. The final spot in Area 3 will come down to this week’s matchup between Wesleyan and Fellowship Christian; the winner will earn a playoff bid to travel to Westminster while the loser will see their season come to an end.

Down south, Area 4 will be decided by the annual Battle of the Bubble when 12-4 McIntosh travels to 15-2 Starr’s Mill. The winner of this game will wrap up a region title and guarantee a home playoff game for the first two rounds.

Class 6-7A
Most of 6-7A region and playoff matchups are set besides the chaotic Area 4. Lassiter, Pope, and Roswell have locked up playoff bids with Lassiter wrapping up a region championship and top seed. The other three spots will be decided on Friday night when Roswell takes on Etowah. Etowah is in control of their own destiny, with a win they clinch the 20seed and a home playoff game. A loss for Etowah would bounce the Eagles and open up the 4-seed for Walton.