LEXINGTON — After rallying in the third quarter, Fort Mill couldn’t complete the comeback in the final period as Wando would score two unanswered goals and hold on to beat the Jackets 8-5 in the boy’s state lacrosse championship at White Knoll High Saturday.
The Jackets were in the state championship match for the second time in three years, having won in 2011, but first-year head coach Steve Nadolski said afterwards that things weren’t meant to be this time around.
“I am really proud of the kids,” he said. “We just ran out of gas. We did what we could. Some things just didn’t go our way.”
Wando, the defending state champions, came into the game ranked number one in the state, while the Jackets were right behind them at number two.
Fort Mill trailed 5-3 at the half, but came out in the third quarter controlling the ball and moving it around looking for a good shot. In doing so, the Jackets ate up the clock.
The Jackets took several shots early in the quarter, but came up empty as Wando junior goalie Trevor Pearson accounted for 13 saves in the game.
When Wando did have the ball in the third quarter, they made the most of it running a fast paced offense and sprinting down the field to score with 5:02 left in the period to go up 6-3.
However, Fort Mill didn’t let the Warriors run away with it, as they came back to pull within one as junior Mitch Russell would score with 3:08 left in the quarter to give himself a hat trick for the game. Russell, who has one more year before heading off to Duke University to play the sport, led the Jackets with three goals in the game.
After cutting the lead to two, Fort Mill stayed on the attack as they would score before the end of the quarter with senior Trevor Wylie cutting the score to 6-5 getting a goal with 7.9 seconds left in the period.
The Jackets trailed by just one goal entering the fourth quarter, but Wando would add two more goals to put things away.
With 7:36 left in the game, Wando junior Carson Horner would score to give the Warriors another two goal lead. Then with 3:17 left, junior Chase Robinson would add another goal for Wando.
Fort Mill struggled at times keeping possession of the ball in the very physical came, as the Jackets had costly turnovers off of missed passes.
Fort Mill led just once in the game, as Russell scored just four minutes into the game to put the Jackets up.
Wando would come back two minutes later to score and tie things at one on a goal from sophomore Andrew Phelan. The Warriors would add another goal to take the lead for good at 3:35 left in the quarter with Horner scoring to make it 2-1.
Wando opened the second quarter with a goal just eight seconds into play from senior Fred Dotterer.
One thing about Fort Mill was that they forced Wando to stay alert on defense, as they continuously fought to stay in the game.
With 6:30 left in the first half, junior Ethan Gray would score for Fort Mill to again, cut the lead to just one with the help of Wando being down two players because of penalties.
Despite the score Wando came right back and got on the attack scoring two more goal before the half.
Russell would add the second of his three goals for Fort Mill scoring with less than two seconds left as he tried to help the Jackets carry some momentum into the locker room.