Lambert boys, Milton girls win 6A-7A titles; Blessed Trinity sweeps A-5A at GHSA state lacrosse championships

Rob Saye

The 2021 GHSA Lacrosse State Championships took place Saturday at Denmark High School with titles being awarded to the boys and girls in the Class A-5A and 6A-7A divisions.

The recaps from Saturday’s competition can be found below.

6A-7A Boys: Lambert 17, Centennial 9

After falling to Walton 8-7 in the 2019 finals, the Lambert Longhorns are champions once again after defeating the Centennial Knights 17-9, giving the program its fifth lacrosse state title and third in five seasons. Lambert jumped ahead early following two scores from junior Danny Kesselring, but Centennial was able to find the back of the net before the first quarter came to a close. However, in less than one minute of play in the second quarter, Lambert was able to add three scores to take a 5-1 lead and would tack on two more before halftime while allowing four goals to go ahead 7-5.

Centennial was first to score in the third quarter, making it a one-goal game, but the Longhorns continued to attack the net and climbed to a 11-7 lead following a goal by senior Andrew Zeman with less than four minutes remaining in the third. The fourth quarter was all Lambert, and a total of five goals were scored by the Longhorns making a Centennial comeback unreachable as Lambert went on the be crowned champions.

6A-7A Girls: Milton 13, West Forsyth 8

The Eagles and Wolverines met previously in the regular season, resulting in a 10-9 win for Milton. The Eagles were able to come out on top again today, giving them their 14th state title since 2005, and denying West Forsyth its first. Milton took control early in the game, earning a 4-1 lead with just under 15 minutes remaining in the first half before West Forsyth’s Mikaela Barbieri found the back of the net to cut the Eagles’ lead to two. Following another Milton score, senior Cami Merkel scored her second goal of the game to keep the Wolverines in the game. Milton tacked on three more first-half goals to go up 8-4 heading into halftime. The Wolverines’ offense was aggressive, but Milton sophomore goalie Tori Mellinger’s presence defending the net helped keep the Eagles ahead.

The second half was more of the same, with the Milton offense firing on all cylinders while the Wolverines tried to catch up. With Milton up 12-6 and less than eight minutes left in regulation, West Forsyth head coach Chris Keifer was ejected from the game, and the Wolverines without their coach were unable to mount a comeback. Merkel continued to play her hardest though, scoring her fifth goal of the game as time expired to cut Milton’s lead to five. This victory gives the Eagles’ their fourth consecutive title in Class 6A-7A, and marks another undefeated season for the program.

A-5A Boys: Blessed Trinity 12, Pace Academy 8

The Blessed Trinity Titans capped off their historic undefeated season with a 12-8 victory over the Pace Academy Knights to claim their second state title in school history, and second in three seasons, securing Blessed Trinity’s second title in the classification this year with the girls taking home the Class A-5A title as well. Blessed Trinity also swept the Class A-5A finals in 2018.

The match was close throughout the entirety of the game, with both teams tied at 3-3 at the beginning of the second quarter before the Titans took a 6-4 lead at the half, fueled by two first-half goals by senior Riley Sullivan. After three quarters of play, the Titans held onto their two-point lead up 9-7, and held the Knights to just one fourth-quarter goal while scoring three of their own to solidify the finals victory.

A-5A Girls: Blessed Trinity 12, Starr’s Mill 6

The matchup in the girls Class A-5A title game was a rematch of the 2019 finals, with Blessed Trinity looking to deny Starr’s Mill a repeat title. The Titans did just that as they bested the Panthers 12-6 to claim their fourth lacrosse state title in school history, and fourth in five seasons. After two consecutive goals by the Titans in the first half, the Panthers joined the scoreboard with a goal of their own. However, Blessed Trinity kept the pressure on, and were quick to add two more unanswered goals.

By the end of the first half, the Blessed Trinity offense had proven it could not be contained and mounted a 7-2 lead over Starr’s Mill that would be too much for the Panthers to overcome. Starr’s Mill’s leading scorer was junior Emma Grace Hepler, who found the back of the net four times. Blessed Trinity was led by sophomores Haden Noyes and Reagan Hart, junior Marisa Iona and freshmen Clark Hamilton, who all scored two goals each.


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