Thoughts on Championship Saturday (and Sunday too)!
Lake Highland 10-8 over American Heritage-Delray
St. Andrew’s 9-7 over Benjamin
Bartram Trail 8-7 over Vero Beach
St. Thomas 13-12 over Ponte Vedra
This will be preliminary, as it is Mother’s Day and Marcela deserves the attention today (and tomorrow since it’s her Birthday), and a big Happy Mother’s Day to all of you out there!
We’ll be doing a major recap show on VSN and I will likely do Morning Coffee Tuesday to give me time to prepare properly.
Those in attendance will never forget yesterday, no matter which side of the coin you were on.
All we had was a big turnaround in Girls 1A, another chapter in the Herculean SA-Benjamin rivalry, a late game winning goal in Girls 2A after a lengthy weather delay, and . . .
After another lengthy delay and a late start that guaranteed Lacrosse Midnight Madness, we only got to witness what was likely the greatest high school lacrosse game ever played in Florida . . .
Those familiar with Homer’s ‘The Odyssey’ would find some striking parallels to the epic story. It picks up where the Trojan War ends and the protagonists having to travel back to Greece. The weather delays yesterday made the title journey epic as well. But Poseidon was slayed by a bunch of boys and girls with sticks and stood tall after the onslaught.
Lake Highland cleverly relied on a physical advantage, and nothing showed that better when they were able to get up a head of steam from about 20 yards away from goal; they were able to spread out the AH-D defense and weave through to net, scoring at times and drawing free position opportunities. It also showed as they handled a few possessions low in the arc and got inside looks when they could ‘post up’ to use a basketball term. And on defense they found an active approach that allowed a packing of the interior that masked positioning at times.
But even with all that, AH-D found a way to come back late in the game and have a great look at tying it up, only to have a freakish play stem the momentum. Brooke Goldstein, who had helped bring the Stallions within one, was set up in a great spot in the middle, but her shot hit Nina Menozzi of LHP in the head, causing a yellow card and ejection for a dangerous shot. LHP was able to add an empty-net goal and run time out for a richly-deserved title.
But don’t go away lacrosse fans . . . this won’t be the last time these two get it on in a title game. Same Bat time, same Bat channel, as we said many years ago.
Next up was the 1A heavyweight battle between the Scots and the Buccaneers, and William Wallace wasn’t as physical. This was not for the faint of heart, as the hitting was vicious. Saint Andrew’s did manage to solve the issue of the faceoff dot, as Nick Golubov came through big against Benjamin’s fantastic Dylan Furshman. Furshman won the first draw against SA’s triple pole, went right down the middle but was stoned by SA’s Gunnar Schwarz, and that was ‘message sent’. Benjamin did tally first and the teams went back and forth with the score tied at 2 10 minutes in.
A bad hit by SA led to a 2-minute unreleasable call, but the Scots escaped with only one goal against went on a four goal run for the 5-2 lead. For the next 18 minutes or so it was a tight defensive battle, with the Scots eventually opening it up to 8-3 with a little under 11 minutes to go, only to see Benjamin charge back with a 4-1 run to make it 9-7 with 2:42 to go. But the Bucs could get no closer and the Scots killed a late penalty and ran enough clock to hold on for the 9-7 win, continuing Benjamin’s quest for their first varsity title to extend another year. Just another great chapter of a series that has produced magic over the years.
And speaking of magic, the Girls 2A once again highlighted a Bartram Trail-Vero Beach game. BT ended Vero’s long string of state titles in the past and their meetings always seem to involve fireworks. This time the fireworks were lightning bolts, both on and off the field. BT, just like in Friday’s semifinal win, jumped out to a big lead and had to hold on for dear life. Unlike Friday, they actually were caught and had to find a way to win the game.
Vero stormed back from the 6-0 deficit, cutting it in half by halftime on a bunch of free position goals. With a little less than 18 minutes to go the Weather Gods played Charybdis and off to the locker rooms they went, with Vero having gotten back within one at 6-5. The lengthy delay gave BT time to regroup with a quick goal, but Vero kept pushing, and with 5:40 to play Carli Norris made it 7-6, drawing a yellow while doing it. A second yellow at 4:19 gave Vero a free position look and a two-woman advantage, and Norris gave them the tie for the first time since 0-0. But BT won the next faceoff and was able to kill off the penalties, setting up Izzy Difato to win the game with her own free position goal with 1:22 left. She also won the next draw and BT ran out the clock for their second title.
The Boys 2A was ready to get going when the Gods intervened again, and we went into another lengthy delay, and it was about 10:30.
Instead of looking at stats and other stuff, I sat back as a fan and watched, while taping commentary for VSN. We’ll see how much of it is usable.
I’m going to watch the game at home during the week and do my details then, since the game was so good I just wanted to enjoy it. We’ll get to that later in the week. I hope to have a Recap show on VSN with interviews with the winning coaches, plus highlight clips and everything else I can think about that captures the glory of what turned out to be a marvelous Championship Saturday and Sunday!
So, time for the Mom’s and we’ll be back with more later on and through the week!