Boys’ varsity lacrosse ends season strong


Photo courtesy Mace Berk

Senior Captain Mace Berk walks off the field after the Whitman playoff win.

The varsity boys’ lacrosse team came into their first-round playoff matchup vs Richard Montgomery ready to take care of business.

Having a home playoff game is always the goal, so the boys wanted to capitalize on this opportunity in order to start a playoff run. After coming out a little bit shaky defensively, giving up three goals in the first few minutes of the game, coach Ralph Bernardo called a timeout. He challenged the defense to step it up, and the boys started to play together and click. “We found ourselves down 3-1 early and we all realized this is not how we want to end our season, so we came together as a team and left it all out there and left with the win,” senior Parker Leibowitz said.

After the win against Richard Montgomery, the boys matched up against division rival Whitman in the second round. The boys fell against Whitman in their first loss of the season with a score of 17-11. This game was a great chance to get some revenge against the Vikings. Yet again, the boys came out a little slow and got behind pretty fast. The offense couldn’t get anything going, and the Whitman goalie made a couple of fantastic saves.

But yet again, the boys came out in the second half with a different mindset and began to claw their way back into the game. They cut the Whitman lead to just one goal with two minutes left. Then senior Alec Fleischer hit an unreal shot to tie up the game. The defense came up huge with a stop, and then senior Jake Hoffman made a beautiful play to set up senior Colin Grange for the game-winning goal.

The crowd went crazy, as the boys completed the comeback and the upset, with a score of 10-9. Now they would have a chance to play in the regional championship against the defending state champions, the Churchill Bulldogs. “The win against Whitman was magical, it showed us that all of the hard work paid off. We really made a lot of progress since the start of the season,” senior Zach Haledjian said.

The next game would be the tallest task of the season. At home, the boys lost to Churchill 12-9 in a close contest, but Churchill was missing a couple of key players. Playing in a regional final against our arch-rivals is what the boys dreamed about all year. The game was at Churchill, and the winner would advance to the elite eight of the whole state.

The boys found themselves down in a deep hole early on yet again. The offense couldn’t get things going and the Churchill attackers made some nice plays. The boys were looking for that spark that they found in the previous two playoff games, but they seemed to be a little too far down in this one. The boys’ season would come to an end with a disappointing loss to Churchill. Senior captain and leading scorer Alec Fleischer said, “It was a hard way to end the season, but I’m still so proud of all that we accomplished. We improved a lot since last year, and I made some of my best memories playing lacrosse this year with my boys.”