We’re here at House Park stadium in Austin, TX, for the Division 1 lacrosse finale as the Highland Park Scots take on the St Marks Lions. This will mark the 3rd meeting between these teams this year with HP taking wins during the regular season and the North District Championship.
**As noted by Peyton Williams in his ‘Road trip to Annapolis’ blog. I can see the irony of two teams from who are 15 mins apart in Dallas traveling 3 hours to Austin so they can play eachother.**
It’s an overcast 75 degrees with a light breeze this afternoon, a nice change to the heavy rains that plagued the semi’s. Highland Park (HP) easily advanced with a 14-0 win over Central District Champ, Bowie, while St Mark’s had a barn burner of a game against South District Champ, Strake Jesuit, trading goals the entire second half but locking up a 15-13 win in the final minute.
We’re about 15 mins from the opening face so lets catch up on the Division 2 final that was played this morning.
North District champ, Coppell, locked up their title over Central champions, Stony Point, 22-4. This marked 6 quarters of lacrosse for Coppell today as rain postponed the second half of their semifinal game against Memorial (Houston) last night. Time constraints with the Division 1 semi’s forced the second half to be played this morning prior to the Division 2 final. Coppell cruised past Memorial and carried a lot of momentum into the final game. Congrats to Coach Dennington and the Cowboys on a great season.
Att: Cody Crews, Kevin Fritts, Will Ziegler
Mid: Austin Mai, Briggs Montgomery, Robert Cannon
Def: Chris Hipps, Mason Bates, Bobby Koudelka
Goal: Jordan Lee
Att: Will Perkins, Charles Branch, Jeff Perkins
Mid: Drew Nicholas, Fred Addy, Connor Watumull
Def: Noah Bricker, Scott Kupress, Dean Itani
Goal: David Christoff
Spoke with some of the St Mark’s staff, they are excited to have 4 of their seniors back for todays final. They remained in Dallas last night for a school function but made the trip down this morning and are ready to go.
HP looks very focused. Spent some time down on the field during warm ups, you could feel the intensity. Very little talk, crisp warmup.
National Anthem…. and here comes the sun. Great day for lacrosse
12:00 – HP gets the opening face and we’re off and running
9:50 – HP is getting quality possession but not quality shots. StM Goalie has 3 saves so far. Failed clears are not helping StM.
8:53 – Another out of bounds turnover by HP but they regain possession after another failed StM clear.
8:13 – First successful possession for StM.
7:31 – StM’s Fred Addy goes hard to the cage but turns the ball over after slipping into the crease.
5:48 – StM forces a turn over at the top of the box and sparks the transition. HP goalie makes a great fast break save, right on the doorstep.
4:45 – Another HP turnover but StM foregoes the fast break to secure the clear.
4:18 – GOAL St Marks moves the ball and gets a great shot from Charles Branch from 8yds out, top left. [1-0 St. Marks]
3:00 – GOAL St Marks Austin Ham goes one-on-one from the right wing and puts one over the goalies left shoulder. [2-0 St Marks]
Time Out: HP
*HP gets the face off a procedure call, HP struggled with faceoffs last night against Bowie
2:04 – GOAL HP’s Campbell Powers catches the feed 5 yds in front of the goal and buries it stick side/hip high [2-1 St Marks]
1:01 – HP gets the ball inside but pings the top pipe
:00 - StM slows the pace and holds it out to end the quarter.
On a side note, I’d like to say ‘Thank you’ to my wife who’s here keeping the running stats. She’s the best.
12:00 – Faceoff to HP, Duke bound Chris Hipps carries the ball into the box (Wow, he’s a big dude.) but HP turns the ball over on a procedure call, offsides during the substitution
10:47 – StM Jeff Perkins unleashes a howitzer from 10 yards but skips it off the top pipe.
*I’m very impressed with the HP 2-man games
8:44 – Another pipe save for StM, these inside shots start to fall and it’s a whole different game.
… StM goalie makes a great save off the face mask.
7:28 – Clearing woes continue for StM.
6:48 – Popcorn save for StM, this has to be building his confidence. Quick outlet upfield and HP’s Kevin Fritts will sit for a push during the clear.
Time Out: St Marks - right as the penalty expires
5:40 – HP muscles out an athletic clear and gets Fritts his first touch of the day
Time Out: HP
5:03 – GOAL HP gets a quick restart off a shot and Chase Prospere 5-holes the goalie. [2-2]
4:59 – Loose ball at the midline and Chris Hipps just snaps some kids stick with a check. ‘Half Price Yardsale’?
2:41 – Ziegler pushes inside from the wing but another great intight save by StM’s Christoff.
2:24 – GOAL Fairfield bound Kevin Fritts gets his first of the game off a nice feed. [3-2 HP] *Fritts had 3 goals against Bowie in limited action.
:28 – Fritts presses to the goal and Christoff matches stick to stick. ‘In the crease’ play-on although I would say that Fritts was ‘helped in’
:20 – StM loses the ball during the clear and HP hits ANOTHER PIPE on a wide open goal.
:00 – StM’s gets a great save from Christoff as the half ends.
- Right now the teams are looking pretty even in turnovers but the failed clears are limiting St Mark’s possession time. They aren’t getting a lot of shots but they have been quality and Christoff and the pipes have helped keep this one close.
12:00 – HP gets the face cleanly. “Hey St Marks… I think he’s going to clamp and rake it”
10:50 – StM’s gets a save but turns the ball over behind the net. HP feeds in the crease but it gets away.
Quick tip: Two hands on the scoop ‘HP senior who I will not name but is wearing an even numbered jersey’.
8:14 – HP puts a shot right into the goalies stick but Christoff loses the ball after the 4 second count.
7:30 – GOAL Kevin Fritts gets his second goal. Mirror image of the first, off the feed, ‘top cheese’ over the goalies right shoulder [4-2 HP]
5:58 – StM sweeps across the top of the restraining box, feeds the crease and HP goalie Jordan Lee makes a great point blank save.
4:42 – StM seems to be suring up the clearing game. 3 of the last 4.
3:10 – Another great save for HP’s Lee. ‘Deuling Goalies’, somewhere ‘Doc’ is smiling
2:42 – Loose ball scrum sends the flags flying. We’ll play 5v5 with non-releasable penalties.
1:59 – Two possession changes at midfield and St Mark’s take a time out.
*The game hasn’t been extremely physical but both teams have been playing extremely clean.
1:00 – StM working on a 4 shot possession. They’re dodging the short sticks from the right wing and pressing the crease.
:00 – HP’s Austin Mai pushes the clear and fires wide as the quarter ends
12:00 – HP gets the face, Hipps and their wing play has been key today.
10:50 – HP’s Will Ziegler presses from X but puts the ball over the cage
10:07 – StM’s goalie makes two good saves, one off the stick and one off the face mask from the rebound.
7:58 – StM’s is having their best possession of the game. Moving well off ball and keeping the ball hot, they just can’t get the shots to fall.
6:57 – StM’s ‘shot fest’ ends in a bad pass at the midline. HP’s Chase Prospere clears the ball by tossing it over the StM attack to ‘the gap’ and picking up the gb.
6:01 – GOAL Fritts drives up the left side from X and feeds a cutting Will Ziegler. Impressive finish to the bottom corner. [5-2 HP]
5:47 – EMO for St Marks, this is only the third penalty of the game.
5:34 – GOAL The Lions capitalize getting a quick strike from Charlies Branch. [5-3 HP]
5:27 – GOAL HP responds by winning the face-off and scoring off the fast break. Crews from Ziegler. [6-3 HP]
5:20 – Christoff makes a point blank save off the faceoff fast break.
3:09 -GOAL Jordan Lee makes in intight save and outlets the ball quickly. Fritts gets his third goal on the cross crease feed from Ziegler. [7-3 HP]
2:05 – HP being very deliberate with the possession
1:29 – StM’s doubles the ball and gets the turnover
1:11 – GOAL StM’s Will Perkins presses to the cage and puts on low and away. [7-4 HP]
Time Out: St Marks
:50 – GOAL Jeff Perkins gets on the board with a nice inside roll. Like Mom always said, ‘It ain’t over till it’s over.’ [7-5 HP]
:01 – StM takes one last shot at the cage and Jordan Lee pads his stats on a stellar day.
FINAL: Highland Park 7 - St Marks 5
*Congrats to the Scots on winning Back-to-Back Texas Division 1 State Championships.
Highland Park (18-1) 1 2 2 2 – 7
St. Mark’s (17-4) 2 0 0 3 – 5
Goals: HP: Kevin Fritts 3, Chase Prospere, Will Ziegler, Cody Crews, Campbell Powers. SM: Charles Branch 2, Will Perkins, Jeff Perkins, Austin Ham.
Assists: HP: Prospere 2, Ziegler 2, Fritts, Dillon Zweiffel. SM: Will Perkins, Elliot Chang-Tung.
Saves: HP: Jordan Lee 7. SM: David Christoff 16.
Post game Awards:
MVP: Kevin Fritts, Highland Park
Offensive MVP: Will Ziegler, Highland Park
Defensive MVP: David Christoff, St Marks
*Highland Park was also awarded the Texas High School Lacrosse League 2009 Award for Team Sportsmanship.
Quotes - Derek Thompson:
On the game and a second championship: “Couldn’t be more pleased for our kids. I thought they played hard today and that we were the best team wire to wire. It’s rare when your kids meet all of your team goals, I thought this year that we did it and I couldn’t be more pleased with the guys.
The senior class (3 All-State/3 All-District): “It’s such a great way for them to go out, not only with the state championship but with the Team Sportsmanship Award (for the THSLL). These kids have come through our program and are the ones that built it. I’m glad they get to go out on top.”
On Fritz and Ziegler’s play: “Both those guys have done such a great job all year long of distributing the ball and helping to get us in the right positions. So I’m glad their efforts were able to be recognized today because they played great. Players win championships and that’s what they did today.”