Valley falls in state lacrosse final
CHANTILLY – A slow start doomed Loudoun Valley as Langley took control early and never trailed to win 12-5 in the AAA/AA boys’ lacrosse championship game June 12 at Westfield High School.
Despite falling one step short of the ultimate goal, the Vikings take pride in advancing to the final – a game normally occupied by Northern Region teams.
Valley – Cedar Run District champions and Northwest Region finalists – became the first Viking boys’ or girls’ lacrosse team to play in a state championship game.
“We were first team to make it,” Valley senior Dylan Zook said, “so this is still huge for us to make it.”
The Vikings (18-4) advanced to the final by defeating Western Albemarle in the state quarterfinals and Brooke Point in the semifinals.
“No one gave us a shot,” Valley coach Jeff Lewandowski said. “Except for us.”
The Saxons scored four unanswered goals to start Saturday’s game on their way to repeating as state champions.
The Vikings finally broke through on senior Chris Daddio’s goal.
This goal, however, did not have the jump-start effect the Vikings needed. Valley’s attack remained stagnant into the second half.
“We did not have a great start and we are usually a second half team,” said Daddio, who will play for Syracuse University. “We got back-doored and fell asleep in the first half.”
Valley, who defeated Langley in the regular season, scored less than six goals for only the second time this season.
“They got up on us quick, and by the time the second half rolled around, we were just beat,” said Valley senior Garrett Swankowski, a University of Virginia commit. “We kept throwing the ball away, a lot of empty possessions, and the defense got run down.”
The Vikings brought it within four early in the fourth quarter, but Langley responded with a four-goal explosion, putting the game out of reach.
“We were the underdogs—we did everything at the end of season right, but we couldn’t make it all the way,” Daddio said. “It is amazing, seeing that we are the first team to make it so far, we did a lot this season.”
“I am really proud of my guys,” Lewandowski said. “Langley deserved to win, but we played with a lot of heart and intensity. We just didn’t put it together.”
-All photos by Greg Nash.
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