Millbrook outlasted Broughton Tuesday, topping the Conference 3 leader 7-6 in overtime.
The win was a yearslong goal realized for the Wildcats.
“It was a goal we’ve set ever since we started Millbrook lacrosse and to finally be able to reach it, it’s definitely a proud moment,” said Millbrook senior midfielder Corey Joe, who scored the winning goal to hand Broughton (11-2, 10-1 Conference 3) its first league loss.
Broughton started overtime with the possession and Millbrook (8-4, 7-4) a man down. The Caps’ leading scorer Davis Weaver took a shot, but it hit the post.
Joe scooped up the rebound near midfield and raced down field, firing in the winning shot less than 90 seconds into overtime.
“The post saved my life right there,” said Millbrook goalie Aaron Leach said after the game.
Leach came up big for the Wildcats throughout the game, making save after save, and several in one-on-one situations.
Millbrook coach Andrew Wit said the freshman has been a stabilizing presence for the team, allowing the other players to know they have a solid goalie behind them.
The Wildcats controlled the tempo for much of the game, jumping out to a 2-0 lead after one quarter.
Broughton stayed within striking distance, but struggled to score at its usual pace. Broughton came into the game averaging more than 12 goals per game.
Down two goals heading into the fourth, the Caps scored two unanswered goals to tie it with less than seven minutes remaining, and tied it again with just under four minutes left to send the game to overtime.
“It took us three and a half quarters to start playing, and when you do that, you use a lot of energy playing catch up,” said Broughton coach Damian Hall. “If we play the whole game maybe we don’t hit the post on that last shot, but all credit to Millbrook. They played hard from beginning to end. They earned it.”
Wit said the win also shows the growth of Conference 3 competition.
“(Broughton has) been the class of our conference, and it just shows how lacrosse is growing in our area where now we can compete with them,” Wit said. “Every year we’ve inched a little bit closer. ... We have three senior defensemen and it’s just a cumulative effort because it starts from that back end and goes forward.”
The Wildcats are peaking at the right time, Wit said. The win came at a critical point of the season as Millbrook is trying to edge its way into the playoffs.
Conference 3 is guaranteed three berths to the state tournament. Millbrook currently sits at fourth.
“It vaults us right back into the thick of the race and every game just has more significance going forward,” Wit said. “Tomorrow we’ve got to get right back to work and focus on the things that make us successful and not worry about (opponents).”
The Wildcats travel to third-place Wakefield (8-3) in hopes of avenging a previous double overtime loss.
“That’s going to be a game; that’s what I’m looking forward to right now,” said Leach.
Broughton also will get another test as the Caps host Leesville Road on Friday. The teams are now tied for first place in the conference at 10-1. Broughton won the previous matchup, 10-4.