It’s safe to say Cardinal Gibbons lacrosse fans will have a busy Saturday at WakeMed Soccer Park.
The Crusaders girls’ and boys’ teams won Tuesday at home in the NCHSAA semifinals and will play for state championships this weekend.
In the first game of Tuesday’s doubleheader, the girls defeated Hoggard 14-11 behind a six-goal performance by sophomore attacker Jordan Lappin.
Cardinal Gibbons junior attacker Erica Skowron and sophomore midfielder Sarah Boney added four goals each.
It was back and forth during the first half before the Crusaders pulled away after halftime, outscoring Hoggard 6-3 in the final 25 minutes.
The win comes nearly one year after the Crusaders suffered a one-goal defeat in the semifinals against Apex. Cardinal Gibbons will play Lake Norman on Saturday in its first NCHSAA state championship appearance.
For Lappin, the feeling of avenging last year’s tough season-ending loss with a state championship appearance is priceless.
“We came into the season with a chip on our shoulder because of that game, and I think that we did not want to end this year short,” Lappin said. “So we’re all really excited to be in the state championship.”
In the nightcap, the boys’ team handled Big 8 Conference foe Cedar Ridge with ease, winning 19-5 to secure the Crusaders, the defending state champions, a spot in the NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A state championship game.
“It’s really exciting that we get to go play in this game again,” Cardinal Gibbons coach Alex Buckley said.
Cardinal Gibbons led 8-2 after the first quarter and didn’t look back.
Senior attacker Hunter Van Horn led the Crusaders with four goals.
Cardinal Gibbons will play Marvin Ridge with a title on the line for the second straight year.
Cedar Ridge’s appearance in the semifinals was its first in program history.
“It’s the first time we’ve gotten this far, so it’s a point for us now to shoot for to do better next time,” Cedar Ridge coach Patrick Kavanaugh said.