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Lake Highland Prep Rides Defense to the Championship With 9-3 Win Over Ponte Vedra

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
Lake Highland and Ponte Vedra, two teams familiar with one another, took to the field on Friday afternoon to bid for a spot in the State Championship Final!
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Max Parker wins a face off for Lake Highland
Ponte Vedra won the opening face- off and controlled the play for the first three and a half minutes.  Both teams would maintain a controlled pace of play as they each had two possessions in the first quarter. The game was scoreless until LHP’s All-American Senior Midfielder Devon Lewis opened things up with 4:45 remaining in the first quarter with a well-placed bounce shot.   That would do it for scoring in the first quarter. The pace of play picked up in the second quarter and Devon Lewis scored his second of the afternoon off of a feed from All-American attackman Billy Roll with 10:28 left in the second, giving Lake Highland a 2-0 lead. One minute later, however, Dalton LeMaster came back and cut the lead to one. The game took a decisive turn at the 6:17 mark.  Billy Roll gave the Highlanders a two goal advantage with an unassisted goal.  Then on the ensuing face off Max Parker took it straight to the pipes and gave Lake Highland a three goal lead. Parker is one of the state’s premier face-off specialists and PV had done a great job of containing him up to that point.  The quick strike really gave the Highlanders the momentum. After the game Coach Spaulding commented that he thought this was the most important goal of the game.
All Americans were on display including Devon Lewis (LHP) and PV Goalie Ryan Applegate
All Americans were on display including Devon Lewis (LHP) and PV Goalie Ryan Applegate
At some point between this goal and the end of the first half PV’s Dalton LeMaster would suffer a broken finger.  He only left the field for a brief moment after the injury and would play the rest of the game, showing the kind of gutsy performance that helped him get his team to this point. Lake Highland won the opening face-off of the third quarter and took control.  At 10:33 Ryan Johnson scored an unassisted goal by dodging to the center of the PV defense and burying the shot. At the 6:40 mark Kyle Richbourg curled around the net on the left side and shot a far corner attempt that seemed to be deflected past Applegate and the lead was now 6-1. Ponte Vedra wasn’t done yet and Garrett Boyle scored what may have been best goal of the game.  He made a great dodge from the wing, leaving a Lake Highland defender on his back side, and scored on a beautiful shot over Sawicki’s left shoulder. Lake Highland began to close the door 15 seconds into the fourth quarter when Don Eidson scored to make it 7-2.  The Highlanders followed that up by playing the best defense they have played all season. Junior Goalie Adam Sawicki (13 saves), All-American Senior Defensemen Casey Irish, Danny Sinton and Jackson Bowen and Sophomore Defensive Middie Don Eidson continually shut down the Ponte Vedra attack.
Garrett Boyle finishes a high light reel goal for PV
Connor Aniello and Billy Roll each scored one down the stretch for Lake Highland and Scott Applegate put a period on his great season with a late goal for Ponte Vedra. Ponte Vedra finished the season at 21-3, further cementing them as the top dog in North Florida lacrosse.  Despite being counted out seemingly every year, they won the toughest district in North Florida and put up their second All-American goalie in a row, a testament to a culture of solid defense. Lake Highland Prep will play for a state championship once again.  With all of the upsets this season, all of the new found parity in Florida High School lacrosse (much of it talked about on the pages of this website) it still comes down to LHP vs. SA.