The Chantilly High boys' lacrosse team has experienced a marvelous regular season thus far. The Chargers, a program two years removed from reaching the state tournament finals, entered spring break week (April 16-23) with a perfect 8-0 record.
The Chargers, in a game earlier this week that began at 10 a.m. on Monday, April 18, improved their mark to a perfect 9-0 with a 12-4 victory over a team from New York, Frontier High, in their first game at the West Springfield Spring Break Tournament.
Then, the following day, Chantilly was matched up against two-time defending state champion Langley High in a 2 p.m. afternoon affair. In a contest in which the Chargers struggled through a tough first half and trailed by four goals at the intermission before putting together an outstanding second half of play, Chantilly fell just short in an 11-10 loss — the first of the season for coach Kevin Broderick's talented, young squad.
"It was very disappointing for us," said Broderick, whose team trailed 7-3 at halftime. "We built ourselves a hole. But the guys fought back and played great team ball."
Sluggish play, which included several penalties, hurt Chantilly in the first half. But the Chargers gave Langley all it could handle in the latter half. Chantilly, moments following a late game timeout, got a game-tying goal from junior attack Daniel DeCenzo, who scored off the crease in the final seconds of regulation to tie the contest at 10-10.
But the seasoned Langley team, in the overtime, was able to stymie off the Chargers' momentum and ultimately score a goal in the extra play to earn the hard-fought win.
"Hopefully we'll learn from this because we're such a young team," said Broderick, whose team has just a couple of seniors in its starting line-up.
<b>THE COACH</b? was proud of the way his team handled a game day which began with the team bus not showing up to take the Chargers from Chantilly to West Springfield High. Instead, players had to provide their own transportation. While the transportation mix-up perhaps contributed to the Chargers' less than stellar play in the first half, Broderick was impressed with the way his team handled a little bit of adversity.
"That's part of learning," said Broderick, of the problems his team had getting to the game. "It really didn't show in our play. They got to the game and were ready to play."
The coach said his team played outstanding team ball in the latter half, showing patience in their passing game and working hard for scoring opportunities.
"We're athletic and have team speed," said Broderick, of some of his team's attributes. "But Langley is the two-time defending state champions, they are well coached and they have so many [quality] athletes."
Chantilly, following the Langley loss, was scheduled to play another tournament game the following day, Wednesday, April 20, at noon versus Oakton High.
Chantilly's three team captains this spring are junior defender Drew Cormode, senior midfield/attackman Devon Westerman, and senior midfielder Jared Golden. Playing goalie for the Chargers this season has been senior Eric Simmons, a first year starter in the net who served as back-up tender last year.
Following spring break, Chantilly is scheduled to play three more regular season games before the Concorde District playoffs begin on Friday, May 6. Next week, the Chargers will play district road games at Westfield on Wednesday, April 27, and at Herndon on Friday, April 29. Chantilly's final regular season game is set for Monday, May 2 against visiting Jefferson.