The Yorktown boys lacrosse team carries with it last season’s National District runner-up trophy as a reminder of falling short against rival Washington-Lee in the championship game. After beating W-L during the 2010 regular season, the Patriots watched as their home field turned into a celebration of the Generals’ first district title.
"These kids were heartbroken," Yorktown head coach Greg Beer said. "We beat them last year in the regular season, and then, come championship game, W-L had the right mindset and we didn’t. They wanted it more and they earned that win."
On Thursday, Yorktown got another shot at W-L and the Patriots played like a team ready to release 10 months of pent-up frustration.
Yorktown scored the game’s first eight goals, led 11-2 at halftime and cruised to a 17-7 win at Greenbrier Stadium. Eight Patriots scored at least one goal during the lopsided victory.
"We just wanted to send them a message," Yorktown senior midfielder Stephen Kang said. "We’re definitely upset about the district championship loss last year and we wanted to come out here and show them that we’re the No. 1 team in the district and I think we definitely did that."
Washington-Lee showed signs of life in the third quarter, outscoring Yorktown 3-1, but the Patriots’ dominant first-half effort made the Generals’ brief resurgence irrelevant. Yorktown led 8-0 before W-L junior attackman Brendan Craig scored with 5:13 remaining in the second quarter. The Patriots nearly entered the locker room with a double-digit halftime lead, but senior midfielder Nico Burns scored with four seconds remaining in the half to cut Yorktown’s lead to 11-2.
"Our attack with [Michael] Crowe, [Joe] Crawford and [Cameron] Cornelius all worked really well together," Beer said. "Offensively, that’s probably the best half we’ve played in a long time."
Crowe and Crawford each netted five goals. After W-L cut its deficit to 12-5 in the second half, Crowe scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter to erase hopes of a Generals comeback.
Crowe’s five goals gave him 99 for his career, two shy of former Patriot Brian Brady (2006) for second place on the program’s all-time list. Clay Chamberlin (2007) is No. 1 with 110 goals. With 47 career assists, Crowe sat one point behind Brady for second on the program’s all-time point-scoring list. Chamberlin is No. 1 with 169.
"For me, it’s good to score," Crowe said, but "it’s just good to get the boys all hyped up and getting them to know that they can go as hard and score."
Kyle Harwood scored two goals for Yorktown, and Martim Cohen, Matt Ambrogi and Kang each scored one.
Yorktown improved to 4-2 overall, including 2-0 in the district. W-L dropped to 3-2, 1-1 in the district. Second-year Generals head coach Patrick Gallagher said he wasn’t concerned about the loss.
"We kind of did the same thing last year," Gallagher said of losing to Yorktown during the regular season, "and it worked out at the end of the season, so that’s where we’re going to move forward to. … We graduated a couple real key players and we’re just looking to repeat what we did last year and just keep playing hard. It’s early on. We started off a lot slower last year and I think we’re in a much better position and we’re just going to keep playing. We really peaked at the end of last season so I don’t really see this as a problem right now."
Craig and Burns each scored two goals for W-L. Alex Cummins, Henry Doll and Mark Palmer, a first-team all-district midfielder last season, each scored one.
The Patriots are in search of their first district title in four years. Yorktown’s two district championships came in 2006 and 2007, Beer’s first two seasons as head coach.
"We need one," he said. "It’s been too long."