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Riverside clamps down on E.C. Glass to win first state lacrosse title

The Riverside Rams won the Virginia 4A state boys’ lacrosse championship in just their second season as a program.—Times-Mirror/Jeff Vennitti
Preparation and execution - combined with a talented, deep roster - proved to be the proper formula for the Riverside Rams to complete a perfect season June 10 in the Virginia 4A state boys' lacrosse championship game at Salem High School.

Facing their stiffest competition of the season in 4A South Region champion E.C. Glass, the second-year Rams built a 6-3 halftime lead before slowing the game down in the second half en route to an 8-6 victory in the state final.

"Our staff did an unbelievable job game planning and our defense stood on its head," Riverside head coach Nick Worek said. "We had prolonged possessions, that's something that we felt we needed to do to let our depth take over. When it took over, we were able to score some great goals late in possessions."

Riverside (20-0) held E.C. Glass, who defeated 2016 state champion Dominion 21-11 in the semifinals, to its lowest scoring output of the season.

Worek praised his entire defense - including defensive midfielders Alex Callis, Tyler Kachadorian, Grant Pluth, Christian DeVault and junior defenseman Grant Gabaldon, who marked the Hilltoppers' top offensive threat.

Junior goalie Michael Gonzalez stood strong as the Rams' last line of defense. "He made a couple of big saves that really made a difference," Worek noted.

Sophomores Danny Maltz and Taylor Musa continued to pace Riverside's attack as the duo has throughout the season.

"We knew they had one of the best offenses in the state," Maltz said of E.C. Glass. "So we were really going to push and try to get a good lead and then slow the game down. Take long possessions and keep our defense fresh for when they got the ball down there."

Maltz is part of a state championship team less than two weeks after his brother Dylan Maltz - a Stone Bridge alum - played a key role in Maryland winning the NCAA Division I lacrosse title.

"It's been unbelievable. Everybody has been excited and jacked up since the Maryland game," Danny Maltz said. "I brought that energy just like my brother brought it."

-Photos by Jeff Vennitti


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