Nick Forbes kept trying to score the game-winner for Cardinal Gibbons’ boys lacrosse team in the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A/2A/3A championship, even when his first two shots of the overtime period were saved.
The persistence paid off Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Forbes scored the game-winner in sudden-death overtime with 59 seconds left in the period to life the Crusaders to a 13-12 victory over Waxhaw Marvin Ridge. Forbes’ winning tally came on a bouncer that hit the goalie’s stick and trickled across the line.
“I kept trying it. I hit three or four posts tonight. I saw the keeper was up so I went low for the first time all season. He got his body on it,” Forbes said.
Cardinal Gibbons (18-4) was energized by Forbes, who scored four goals and assisted on seven others to help defeat Marvin Ridge (18-2) in the title for the second straight year.
The Crusaders scored the last four goals of the game – including two from Forbes – in their repeat championship. Forbes found Mark Schachte twice in the last 3 minutes, 25 seconds of regulation, including with 23 seconds left to force overtime.
“We put ourselves in a hole, but our guys don’t mind adversity. We’ve shown that all year,” Gibbons coach Alex Buckley said. “I told the Siena coach that he has no idea what he’s getting next year in Nick Forbes. He’s a national premier type of player, not just in North Carolina. He’s as good as it gets. He’s abused some defenses this year and made it look easy sometimes. He just has a great feel for the game and he’s a great athlete.”
Gibbons was unable to do much against Marvin Ridge’s strong transition game in the first half. It didn’t help that Schachte had zero goals and faceoff extraordinaire Stephen Albright won 7 of 16 faceoffs.
But in the second half, Forbes made it a point to get Schachte going. All five of Schachte’s goals came from Forbes.
“He’s our best player, smartest player. After last year, they were all over him every game,” Forbes said. “We went on a few runs and thankfully it worked out.”
Albright, meanwhile, won 12 of 13 faceoffs to close out the game, which helped erase Marvin Ridge’s three-goal lead.
“I thought we played terrible defense in the first half,” Buckley said. “But I’m impressed with the way we responded.”
The Mavericks were flustered in overtime. Though Marvin Ridge got possession four times in the period – two saves and two violations on Gibbons – it turned it over all four times.
The Mavs had no groundballs and no shots in overtime.
Marvin Ridge’s scoring included: Jared Blum (two goals, three assists), Shane Hanlon (two goals, one assist), Andrew McCann (one goal) and Jeff Polombella (one goal, one assist), Camden Porta (three goals), Alex Remme (one goal) and Jack Rich (two goals).
Gibbons’ Jack Zarnik, Hunter Van Horn, Jack Shelton and Connor Scanlin each had one goal. Gibbons’ Alex Yost and Marvin Ridge’s Turner Schwartz were awarded NCHSAA sportsmanship awards before the game.
It was the last game, for now, as a member of the 3A ranks for Gibbons, who is moving up to 4A for at least the next two years.