The Herndon High boys' lacrosse team, for the first time in seven years, has qualified for the upcoming Northern Region playoffs.
The Hornets, in one of their biggest victories in recent years, defeated the Westfield Bulldogs, 7-6, in a first round game of the Concorde District tournament last Friday night, May 13 at Westfield. The win advanced Herndon (7-5) to the district semifinals where it was scheduled to meet top seeded Chantilly earlier this week on Monday, May 9 at Chantilly. It also earned the Hornets a seeding at the 16-team region playoffs, set to begin next Tuesday, May 17. Herndon has not made it to regionals since 2004.
Herndon, in its huge district playoff win over No. 4 Westfield, scored the game's final five goals to erase a 6-2 deficit and eliminate Westfield from the postseason.
"Any time you've beaten a team like Westfield, you know you've worked for something," said Herndon coach Dave Baggetta, who is in his first season back at Herndon after having been at the helm of the program from 2001 through 2004.
Baggetta led the Hornets to the region playoffs in 2004. Now, in his return season, he has led the Hornets to regionals once again. But it was not easy. It took a solid regular season of play by Herndon and the spectacular come-from-behind playoff defeat of the Bulldogs to get the Hornets into there.
"It would have been easy for the guys [to get down]," said Baggetta, of the uphill climb his team faced on Friday after falling behind 6-2. "I'm just happy for the guys. They played tough and hard."
Baggetta said his team received stellar games in the win over Westfield from numerous team members, including senior midfielder/attack players Brad Mink, who had a tremendous game on faceoffs, and Alex Wilson; as well as senior midfielder Matt Stephens and junior goalie Paul Hubble.
Herndon's regular season wins this season came over Fairfax, Washington-Lee, Centreville, South County, Jefferson, and private school opponent Bishop O'Connell of Arlington. The Hornets played region power Chantilly tough in an 8-4 late season loss.