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Churchill loses in state semifinals of lacrosse

By Aaron Kasinitz    

Vox Sports

 

Churchill freshman Louis Dubick has the kind of talent that allows him to usually leave lacrosse fields with a smile on his face, but when the final horn of the 3A/4A state semifinals sounded at Franklin high school Saturday afternoon the young attack slid off his helmet to reveal a dejected, defeated look fixed upon his face. Yeah, it was that kind of day for Churchill Bulldogs lacrosse.

Dubick and the rest of the Churchill boys took a one-goal lead heading into the fourth quarter Saturday, before being outscored 5-0 in the final frame by the Westminster Owls, who subsequently claimed a 14-10 victory. Just before the boys took the field, the Churchill girls also fell to Westminster, they were not as competitive, however, and suffered an 18-8 loss.

With Westminster’s sweep of Churchill, Montgomery County is left without a representative in the any lacrosse state final for the second consecutive year.

“For us it’s about closing that gap [between Montgomery County teams and other county teams],” said Churchill girl’s head coach This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. to do that by having more girls play year round.”

Gieldum has lead Churchill to four straight regional titles, but the lady Bulldogs have never quite been able to win a state title once out of a region filled with Montgomery County teams.

On Saturday, Churchill was never able to make the lady Owls sweat, as Westminster scored the game’s first four goals and cruised the rest of the way despite a four-goal performance from Churchill senior Mairin Hall. The Churchill girl’s season ends with a 13-3 mark as they bid farewell to Hall and fellow senior Maddy Flax, who have been crucial components in each season of the regional-four peat.

The Churchill boys were not as overwhelmed by their counterparts.  Churchill and Westminster engaged in a back-and-fourth battle throughout the game’s first three quarters. Dubick and junior Matt Leonard each scored three goals and the Bulldogs held the lead heading into the final period, where it all went wrong.

“I think we played well and we gave it our all, but in the end our legs gave out,” said Dubick.

Westminster senior Ryan Drenner took advantage of the fatigued Bulldogs by scoring three of his game-high five goals in the fourth quarter.

“I think we did fairly well game-plan wise,” said Churchill head coach Jeff Fritz, “in the end they just made more plays than we did.”

Despite the disappointing result for Churchill, both Dubick and Fritz classify the season as a success after claiming the throne of six-time defending regional champion Wootton Patriots. And there’s no doubt that these Bulldogs will be back.

Of the 10 goals Churchill scored Saturday afternoon, nine come out of the sticks of players returning for the 2013 season, and five came from underclassmen. The youthful talent on the Churchill roster may stack up favorably to anyone in the county, but the challenge for the Bulldogs will be to raise their level of play in order to contend for a championship and the state level

Fritz said, “We finally broke through that glass-ceiling this year by winning a regional title, and we return a lot of offense… We’ll reload and break through that next glass ceiling next year.”

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