It has been a year of firsts for the Carrboro boys lacrosse team, but the main first the Jaguars had their sights on was a trip to the N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A/2A/3A state title game.
Carrboro – a team that had never surpassed the second round of the playoffs – secured a trip to WakeMed Soccer Park with a 4-2 East regional final win against rival Chapel Hill, the same team that ended its season a year ago.
The Jaguars will take on Marvin Ridge on Friday at 7:30 p.m.
“This is the biggest win in school history, no doubt about it,” Carrboro coach Ron Mitchell said. “We needed guys to step up and boy, they really did.”
Never miss a local story.
The Jags fell into a 2-1 halftime hole – one that was large on a night when goals were at a premium – and rallied back to score three in a row in the second stanza thanks to goals from Logan Marro and Julien Gaut.
“The biggest thing about those goals were none of them were unassisted, our guys made the play and I just finished it,” said Marro, who had two goals.
Brandon Richardson, Jake Melville (two) and Chad Osbourne each assisted goals for the Jaguars.
Falling behind isn’t a situation that Carrboro is unfamiliar with after coming back from an 8-2 deficit to down Cedar Ridge, the only team it lost to in the regular season, 10-9 in the third round.
“Our guys find a way to win. These guys find it. We have a strength that when we lose in one area, we pick it up in another area,” Mitchell said. “We’re a second half team, we’ve established that.”
The Jaguars shut down a Tiger offense that came into the night averaging 9.9 goals per game, with the likes of long-stick middie Hunter Bolesky and defender Luke Knowles continuously disrupting Chapel Hill’s offense.
“We have so much chemistry. We’ve been playing with each other for years now and there’s nothing like playing with your brothers, we know each other so well,” Knowles said. “I always know exactly what Chris (Millar) and Jordan (Fitzpatrick) are going to do when I go up to cover the ball.
“This is insane. My freshman year, we didn’t even make playoffs. To go from no playoffs to a state championship in four years is one (heck) of a career. I’m so happy for this team,” he added.
Chapel Hill’s year came to a close, as did the illustrious career of Queens recruit Kyle Hornik, a goalie who shined in his final game by making 11 saves and posting a .733 save percentage.
“He’s the heart and soul of the team. He’s the lifesaver us, he’s the last line of defense and he’s going to be sorely missed,” Chapel Hill coach Brent Voelkel said.
“It’s disappointing. I thought if we played a complete game we had a shot at the finals,” Voelkel said. “Hats off to Carrboro.”
Duncan Tart and T.J. Malloy scored for the Tigers and Nick Agusta chipped in an assist.