Two weeks ago, Chantilly High School held an activities fair for rising ninth graders. Circulating during the fair was a flyer that highlighted all of the district championships for the Charger athletic programs. Chantilly boys lacrosse head coach Kevin Broderick grabbed a flyer and showed it to his team before their semifinal game against Westfield on Monday night. Broderick and his coaching staff wanted to make sure that the players saw what was listed in the boys lacrosse section.
“It’s blank,” said Chantilly head coach Kevin Broderick, who took over the program in 2005.
The Chargers’ coach wanted to make sure that his squad knew exactly what they were playing for against the Bulldogs — and his team responded, coming from behind to beat Westfield, 6-4, to advance to their first-ever district final.
“There aren’t even words to describe it,” said senior attack Corey Aferiat, who scored four goals against the Bulldogs.
The Chargers (12-0, 7-0 Concorde), who finished fourth in the district last year, will play Oakton in the district final on Friday. Chantilly beat Oakton, 9-3, during the regular season.
<b>THE CHARGERS FELL</b> behind early to the Bulldogs, taking a 3-2 defeat into the second quarter. Stymied by the zone defense employed by Westfield, the Chargers failed to score in the second quarter, entering the half with the same 3-2 score.
“They were a little on edge. Cross-town rivals always gets the juices flowing. I think that was why we weren’t ourselves early,” said Broderick, who also believed that the 10-day layoff between the Charger’s final regular season game and their first district tournament game contributed to the slow start.
The Bulldogs’ reinvigorated defense, which allowed 13 goals to the Chargers during their regular-season matchup, proved to be troublesome for the Chargers.
Practicing a zone defense on and off for the two weeks leading up to the game, the Bulldogs tried it out for the first time against the Chargers.
“We figured that we could mix them up a little bit, make them think a little bit. That end of it worked,” said Westfield head coach Gary Malm. The Bulldogs’ offense, however, was equally frustrated by the Chargers. Without a leading scorer, senior attack Peter Perley, the Bulldogs found shots on goal few and far between in the second half, finishing with 10 shots on goal in the game, compared to 32 by the Chargers.
“We just couldn’t get it going. Nothing seemed to work,” said Malm. “It is hard when you get a defensive effort like that.”
<b>AFTER A SCORELESS</b> second quarter, the Chargers scored twice in the third, both from the stick of Aferiat, to take the lead heading into the final quarter.
Although sophomore Eric Alter evened the score minutes into the fourth, the Chargers scored twice more to regain the lead for good.
“We played with composure after the initial start and took it one at a time,” said Brokerick. “We did change our offensive philosophy at halftime. Rather than trying to go around the zone, we tried to attack the zone and ran our regular offense and it seemed to work.”
Westfield senior goalkeeper Ross Lavin finished with 12 saves while Chantilly junior keeper Derek Kegerreis finished with four.
IN THE FIRST game of the doubleheader at Chantilly, the Chargers girls advanced to their second-consecutive district final with an 8-7 win over the defending district, region and state champion Oakton Cougars.
The Chargers (12-0, 7-0) took an 8-4 lead into the final 10 minutes of the game and withstood a late run by the Cougars to notch the victory.
“My girls came out to play tonight. Clearly they wanted to beat the [Cougars],” said Chantilly head coach Michelle Gates. “We played really hard and earned this victory tonight.”
The Chargers, which won back-to-back district titles in 2002 and 2003 under current boys head coach Broderick, will play Robinson in the district title on Friday night. The Chargers beat the Rams, 13-11, in an overtime match during the regular season.
“We can’t look at the past games that we have won. Right now, we just have to look ahead,” said sophomore Elizabeth Dunwoody, who scored three goals in the victory over Oakton.
The Concorde District finals will be held at Robinson Secondary School. The girls game will start at 6 p.m., with the boys game following at 7:30 p.m.