Handful of programs claim success

Holly Clem

For years, lacrosse has been known as the fastest sport on two feet. Some of the state’s best athletes whip the ball across the field at extremely high rates of speed while trying to avoid defenses that would make some football players take pause.


The state of Georgia has seen just a handful of programs claim the top prize since the GHSA started officially recognizing state champions in 2005.


Reclassification certainly made the 2013 lacrosse playoffs interesting as Lambert and Milton, the two reigning boys champions, squared off in the second round. Lambert defeated Milton 11-10 to put an end to Milton’s title defense. Fans, however, should have suspected that the Longhorns could pull out the win on the road after the program received nation acclaim for running off 43 straight victories dating from February 2011 until earlier this season.


The Longhorns have 13 seniors on the roster, but it was junior Sean Carruthers that netted five goals in Lambert’s victory over Hillgrove in the first round of the Class AAAAAA playoffs. Sophomore Garret Gomez is a force in goal for the Longhorns. Centennial only lost once all regular season to a team from the Peach State, defeating playoff teams Chattahoochee, Roswell, Johns Creek, Harrison, East Coweta and Mill Creek in the regular season. Centennial was able to topple East Coweta once again as well as Lassiter in the first two rounds of the playoffs. Sophomore attackers Nathan Solomon and Brendan Spence have proved to be tough to stop for opposing defenses.


Westminster can claim plenty of boys lacrosse tradition, having won the title in 2007 and then the AAAA-A crown in 2010, the first year the GHSA split the classifications into two brackets. Northview eliminated McIntosh and Pope in the first two rounds of the AAAAA-A playoffs begore taking out three-time champion Lovett in the A-AAAAA semifinals.


Perhaps no team has benefited more from the GHSA’s decision to split teams in the highest classification away from the rest of the field than Westminster. In addition to the boys title in 2010, the Westminster girls have won three straight dating back to 2010. Westminster has eight seniors on the roster including Caroline Heys, who started the 2013 season on fire. She is joined on the attack by freshman Cabel Zakas. Ansley Walker also does a nice job setting the table from her post in midfield. Westminster has won at least a share of the last four Dogwood Classic titles, an event that pits some of the state’s best against some of the top teams from across the country.


McIntosh eliminated Northview in the A-AAAAA semifinals and is chasing its first GHSA state title.


When it comes to championship pedigree, though, it is tough to top Tim Godby’s Milton Eagles. Milton has only lost four games to opponents from Georgia since 2005 with three of those losses coming in 2009, the only year Milton failed to win a GHSA state title. Senior Caroline Youngs was mentioned as one of Lacrosse Magazine’s Top Performers earlier this year as the goalkeeper has proved dominant in the net for the Eagles. Fellow senior Lydia Cassada is a threat to score at all times and she will suit up for Northwestern next year. Milton has also been ranked as the No. 1 high school team in the country this year by Lacrosse Magazine and laxpower.com.


Lassiter can score at will (16.5 goals per game), as evidenced by the 18-2 victory over a very talented and previously-undefeated Centennial team in the quarterfinals.

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