Snohomish wins state lacrosse title

  • Sat May 26th, 2012 11:12pm
  • Sports

Herald news services

SEATTLE — The Snohomish Lacrosse Club boys team captured its first Division II state championship with a 7-4 win over Garfield High School at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium on Saturday, avenging last year’s opening-round playoff loss to the Bulldogs.

Along with strong goaltending by Glacier Peak senior goaltender Tucker Cooper, Snohomish took advantage of its depth to shut down the No. 3 seed Bulldogs, who had won seven of their last eight games coming into the championship game.

“The boys executed the game plan perfectly. We knew we had a little more depth than them,” said Snohomish coach Chris Cote.

After battling goal-for-goal in the first half, Snohomish (19-1 overall) emerged from the intermission with a 3–3 tie to frustrate the Garfield (13-7) offense and steadily pull away for their 16th straight win.

“We were right where we wanted to be (at the half), we knew that our guys were fresh and feeling pretty comfortable. We had three lines of fresh guys just coming in waves,” said Cote.

It was the first appearance in the state title game for the Snohomish boys team and the Division II state title is the third overall for the program since its inaugural year in 2002. Snohomish won the girls Division II state title in 2005 and 2008.

“This is pretty intense. I always thought Snohomish was considered a bunch of ruffians. Now we’re state champions,” said Cooper, who had 12 saves on the day. “This team really came together. We bonded. I never thought we would get here.”

Following a goal by Glacier Peak freshman Miles Russon to put Snohomish up 4–3 just 1:09 into the second half, Cooper went to work turning away five Bulldog shots to hand on to the slim one-goal advantage. With just 34 seconds remaining in the third, Snohomish junior Harrison Wartes scored his second goal of the day to make it 5–3 just before the final quarter.

With two more goals by Austin Tippett at 5:45 and 5:15 in the fourth quarter, Snohomish held off Garfield, allowing only one goal, an unassisted score by Jackson Lanning with 4:22 remaining in the game.

Last year’s Snohomish team, which draws from local area high schools including Snohomish, Glacier Peak, Archbishop Murphy, and Lake Stevens, as well as Cavalero Middle School, was tabbed as the preseason favorite to win the Division II state title before being ousted unexpectedly from the playoffs. With a new, team-first approach, the Panthers dropped just one game this year, a road loss to Division I Lake Washington 17–10 on March 22, en route to the state title.

“We didn’t live up to last year’s pre-season billing, but this year, the boys weren’t really worried about individual accolades or poll rankings,” Cote said. “It was a great day for our club and for our boys — they worked really hard.

“This is the most important win for high school lacrosse in the North Sound community,” said Cote. “Seven years from now, the kids playing on our youth teams will look to this championship.”

At Memorial Stadium

Snohomish1222—7

Garfield2101—4

Snohomish 7, Garfield 4 (Austin Tippett, SNO, 3 goals, 2 assists, 3 ground balls; Gabe Girgus, SNO, 2 goals, 1 assist; Harrison Wartes, SNO, 2 goals, 4 ground balls, 3 ground balls; Brandon Todd, SNO, 1 assist; Jared Booth, SNO, 3 ground balls; Tucker Cooper, SNO, 12 saves; Cedric Rhodes, G, 1 goal, 1 assist; 3 ground balls; Charlie Phelps, G, 1 goal, 1 assist; Carl Barnes, G, 1 goal, 1 assist, 2 ground balls ; Montana Reed, G, 1 goal, 2 ground balls; Jackson Lanning, G, 1 goal, 7 ground balls; Elliott Voss, G, 2 ground balls; Danny Strick, G, 4 saves)