“It’s amazing,” said Rams senior Nolan Johnson. “A lot of us have been playing together our whole lives. These are my best friends, my family. We have the best coaching staff in America and the best trainers in America. No one does what we do in practice. It translates on the field. Everyone on this team worked their butt off all year, just for this moment right here.” As much fun as last year’s RIIL Boys Lacrosse State Championship game was, La Salle made sure there was no drama this year.
It was Catholic Centrals 14th state championship in school history, tied with the Shamrocks for second-most in a state. Jack Vandegrift had three goals, and Andrew Kelley scored twice for the hosts, La Salle. Host La Salle put the pressure on during the final seconds, looking for the game-tying goal in their boy’s lacrosse contest at the PIAA 3A level, but Garnet Valley did not crack the 5th-ranked Division I team held on to beat the Pioneers, 7-6. Led by a scoring machine named Sebastian Geiger, La Salle scored eight of the last nine goals in the game – blowing up five goals in three minutes – to outscore Glens Falls for the 16-12 win in the boy’s Division 2 boys lacrosse tournament title.
As the defending Big Ten champions, Maryland again advances to the conference championship game, where it must face Rutgers or Ohio State in order to get its celebration underway on Saturday evening. Maryland allowed the score to do the talking, finishing with a 16-11 victory to move on to the conference title game. Maryland is the only team in Big Ten men’s lacrosse history to claim back-to-back conference titles in 2016 and 2017.
Moeller made the Regional Tournament last year, winning five games in a row before falling 40-38 to eventual national champion Centreville. Moeller started Moeller’s success in state tournaments with the Division I State Championship in 2018-19, making the regional finals the following season before COVID-19 forced Ohio High School Athletic Association to cancel the rest of the tournament, and then making the regional finals last season before falling to eventual state champion Centerville, 40-38. Moeller has won four in a row and is 20-1 in state playoff games over the past three-plus seasons.
Elder got a team-high 17 points from junior Carson Brown, and junior Sam Whitmer added 14 points in the Panther’s last meeting of the season, a season that included a complete 6-0 GCL South title. Sophomore Owen Murphy scored four goals and had one assist in the last game against Johns Hopkins, his former team, before transferring to Maryland.