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Dominion shoots past Woodgrove to remain undefeated

Woodgrove senior Josh Grafton, left, tightly defends Dominion junior Josh Drake during the Titans’ 10-7 victory April 28 in Purcellville.—Times-Mirror/Mike Walgren
At last, one school finally had to lose.

In a high-profile boys’ lacrosse meeting between two undefeated schools, Dominion outlasted Woodgrove, 10-7, April 28 on a rain-soaked night in Purcellville.

“We’ve got a great team, we work hard,” Titans coach Pete Lenotti said. “We have good defense, good offense. We played very well as a team. It’s one of the best things about this year is we’re a team. Everybody plays.”

Against the Wolverines, it took as much in one of Loudoun’s best rivalries in the sport.

After three early lead changes, a turning point in the game came in the closing seconds of the half.

Woodgrove had possession after a timeout with a little more than a minute remaining, but Dominion senior James O’Flahavan was quickly able to force a turnover near midfield, get the ball to senior Chris Low, who then found sophomore Kyle Kivinski on the fast break for a late goal with 2.2 seconds remaining to tie it at 4-4.

The Titans never trailed again.

“It was a huge motivator for us going into halftime,” O’Flahavan said.

For Dominion, it was the type of subtle momentum needed for a team that has quietly emerged as one of the state’s top teams, one year after a rare losing season for the program in 2015. The Titans, now 10-0, are in the midst of their best start in school history and longest ever winning streak.

According to LaxPower.com’s computer-generated ratings, Dominion entered and remains No. 1 in the state – ahead of even 5A and 6A schools. Last season, the Titans finished 7-8.

At least three of the team’s seniors – O’Flahavan, Matt Flynn and JP Renick – have a few reasons in mind for the sharp turnaround, though they all agree that the senior-led roster may be the most obvious explanation for their success.

“A group of our seniors, we’ve all been playing together since eighth grade and some before then too,” O’Flahavan said.

Junior Adam Rankin started the second-half scoring with 8:31 left in the third quarter, before two Flynn goals and a second from Kivinski eventually saw the Titans leading 8-6 entering the fourth.

Woodgrove senior Max Pyle pulled it to within one in the first few seconds of the final quarter, but that was as close as the Wolverines would come.

The win gives Dominion its first win in the series since a 15-7 win at Woodgrove in 2014. The Wolverines beat the Titans in both of the schools’ meetings last season, including a 13-10 victory in the Dulles Group semifinals that ended the Sterling school’s season.

Dominion leads the all-time series, 8-3, which began in 2011 – Woodgrove’s first-ever season after the school opened in the fall of 2010. But of the 11 total meetings, eight have been decided by three goals or less.

Woodgrove was 8-0, also the best start in its history, before Thursday's loss. The eight-game winning streak also tied its school record set in 2012.

Renick, a four-year player on the varsity team, knows from experience the competitiveness of games against the Wolverines.

“They really took it to us last year, twice,” Renick said. “I think we really had it in for them this year. Everyone wanted this game so badly in the locker room before, everybody was pumped up. We had great energy coming out. I mean, it couldn’t have been better, really.”

Renick had six saves in the win to lead the Titans from the back. Flynn and Kivinski, a transfer from Paul VI Catholic High School in Fairfax, each had hat tricks. Rankin and senior Bryce Hartzel scored two goals apiece.

Pyle led Woodgrove with a team-high three goals, while Trey Rustand, Michael Whalen, Eli Windle and Ryan Reynolds all scored once each.

Reynolds, a senior, scored from his goalie position after racing up the field with the ball in his stick to tie it at 1-1 in the first quarter. He also logged seven saves, including several late as the Wolverines pushed for a comeback.

Dominion rounds out the regular season with games against Loudoun County, Heritage, Loudoun Valley and Park View. Valley also remain undefeated this season, owning a 10-0 mark with four games left in the regular season after beating Rock Ridge, 20-5, on April 25.

Dominion 10, Woodgrove 7

First quarter
DOM – Bryce Hartzel 4:14 (1-0)
WG – Ryan Reynolds 3:09 (1-1)
WG – Max Pyle 1:33 (2-1)
DOM – Matthew Flynn 0:27 (2-2)

Second quarter
DOM – Bryce Hartzel 7:19 (3-2)
WG – Michael Whalen 6:23 (3-3)
WG – Eli Windle 5:20 (4-3)
DOM – Kyle Kivinski 0:02 (4-4)

Third quarter
DOM – Adam Rankin 8:31 (5-4)
WG – Max Pyle 6:34 (5-5)
DOM – Matthew Flynn 6:06 (6-5)
DOM – Kyle Kivinski 3:27 (7-5)
DOM – Matthew Flynn 3:03 (8-5)
WG – Trey Rustand 2:14 (8-6)

Fourth quarter
WG – Max Pyle 11:49 (8-7)
DOM – Kyle Kivinski 6:45 (9-7)
DOM – Adam Rankin 4:24 (10-7)

Max Pyle – 3 goals
Trey Rustand – 1 goal
Michael Whalen – 1 goal
Eli Windle – 1 goal
Ryan Reynolds – 1 goal, 7 saves

Matthew Flynn – 3 goals
Kyle Kivinski – 3 goals
Bryce Hartzel – 2 goals
Adam Rankin – 2 goals
JP Renick – 6 saves


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