May 18, 2013
The North Carolina High School Athletic Association's fourth annual state lacrosse championships are scheduled for Saturday at the WakeMed Soccer Park in Cary, with two of the four teams in the championships back for the second year in a row.
The women’s final is scheduled for 12:30 p.m. on Saturday, with the men's championship starting at 4 p.m. In the fourth year for lacrosse in the NCHSAA, the tournaments have been conducted as "open" tournaments with all classifications competing for a single crown. As the number of schools fielding lacrosse teams grows, it is anticipated that the sport will become classified as other sports have been.
East Chapel Hill (15-2) will take on Charlotte Catholic (17-2), last year’s runner-up, in the women’s title game and then defending men’s champion Lake Norman (20-3) will face Apex (19-2).
The women’s game is a rematch of an early season game in which Catholic downed East Chapel Hill 13-10.
Charlotte Catholic, which also won the inaugural NCHSAA women's lacrosse crown in 2010, has a dynamite scorer in sophomore Natalie Wallon. Wallon has a whopping 91 goals and 23 assists after scoring nine goals on Tuesday night in Catholic’s 23-16 victory over Lake Norman in the regional final.
East Chapel Hill will counter with a amazing scorer of its own in Sydney Holman, who has 123 goals on the season, the most ever recorded in NCHSAA lacrosse, and scored 13 as East beat defending state champion Green Hope 18-12 on Tuesday night to advance for its 11th consecutive victory. Holman has been her conference’s lacrosse Player of the Year for four consecutive seasons.
Apex, which was runner-up in the inaugural 2010 men’s championship, beat East Chapel Hill 11-7 in the regional round, led by a hat trick by Derek Sweet. Sweet was the conference lacrosse Player of the Year while Luke Sieber paces the Cougar attack with 49 goals and 68 assists.
The Wildcats employ an aggressive, attacking style. Bryan Kos, who had a hat trick in Tuesday night’s victory over Charlotte Catholic, along with Austin Grassey and Eddie Hendrickson highlight the Wildcat offense. Lake Norman’s losses this season have all been to out-of-state teams after a perfect season a year ago.
Tickets for the championship are eight dollars each or $15 for the doubleheader. Parking at the facility is five dollars, and no outside food and beverage may be brought into the stadium.
In last year's finals, Green Hope rolled past Charlotte Catholic 17-6 in the women's championship and Lake Norman edged Raleigh Cardinal Gibbons 9-8 for the men's crown.