Members of the T.C. Williams boys lacrosse team hung around on the field long after Monday’s matchup with Annandale had concluded. Senior midfielder Jimmy Carragher and head coach Mike Mulherin were in pleasant moods during postgame interviews and the Titans generally seemed upbeat.
TC, the No. 6 seed, lost to No. 2 Annandale 12-6 during the semifinal round of the Patriot District Tournament at Lee High School. While the Titans fell short against the Atoms, TC accomplished its goal for the evening: prove to itself that progress had been made and recent success was no fluke.
Annandale is considered one of the top teams in the Northern Region and the Atoms handed TC a lopsided 18-4 loss on April 26. On Monday, the Titans led briefly in the first quarter and stayed within shouting distance for the remainder of the contest. Carragher called the Titans’ performance "the best game of the year, for sure." Senior attackman Robin Bomberger said "It gives us pretty good confidence knowing that we can hang with some of the best teams in the region."
Playing well in the postseason had the Titans thinking positive. It probably helped that TC didn’t have to worry about keeping its season alive.
The Titans took care of that three days earlier, beating Lake Braddock 8-5 for the program’s first playoff victory in the last five years while earning a berth in the Northern Region Tournament.
TC has had several memorable moments this season. The Titans beat Lake Braddock 8-7 on March 29, posted two shutouts in a span of five days and surpassed their win total from the previous season by mid-April. But beating the Bruins in the postseason and following it with a strong effort against Annandale has taken the Titans to new heights.
"We stepped up and showed that what we were on Friday against Lake Braddock is what we’ll be every night that we play," Mulherin said of the team’s performance against Annandale, "and going into the regional tournament I think that’s great for us to have that confidence. … Lake Braddock had put in a new defense the first time we played and to go in and to show that we had only become a better team, sharper on offense, our defense is solidified, and to walk away with another convincing win was huge to our team, as well as hopefully a statement for the region to know that we’re a legitimate program."
Carragher scored a team-high two goals against Annandale.
"For my senior night, my favorite TC moment was beating [Lake Braddock] earlier this season," he said. "People thought that that was a fluke. … When we came out [against the Bruins in the district tournament], we controlled the game the whole time. They did not stand a chance."
Along with team accomplishments, several Titans garnered individual accolades. Senior attackman Ben Bilodeau and senior defenseman Qwante Cherry were named first-team all-district. Senior midfielder Ben Goodwin received second-team honors, and Bomberger, junior attackman Kodie Richards, senior midfielders Carragher, Tim Dwyer and Jay Whitmire and junior defenseman Dominic Ballou garnered honorable mention.
Regionals will begin May 17.
"I couldn’t be more proud of these guys," Mulherin said. "Win or loss, we’re better every day. We’re today than we were last week and I couldn’t be more proud of our team."