Yorktown team shot lacrosse champs

The Yorktown Patriots gather with the state championship banner and trophy. (From Yorktown)

In convincing fashion, the Yorktown Patriots won the 6D North Region Tournament for the first time. Next, and on an even bigger stage and by the closest of margins, the boys high-school lacrosse team capped its historic and undefeated 2021 campaign by winning its first state championship.

Yorktown (16-0) won the Virginia High School League Class 6 state tourney crown with a 9-8 overtime victory over the host Battlefield Bobcats in the four-team competition. In the semifinals, Yorktown nipped the host Robinson Rams, 7-6, in double overtime on Han Miller’s winning goal.

The state championship was the first Virginia High School League title by a Yorktown boys team of any kind since the gymnastics squad won the Virginia crown in 1972.

Yorktown’s campaign of close calls included four one-goal victories, another by two, and two triumphs in overtime, each of those in the state tourney. Its final four playoff games were on the road against tough opponents, including wins over defending state champion Madison and perennial power and multiple-time state champion and runner-up Robinson.

The Patriots had a 7-0 playoff record, and the state-tourney berth and appearance in the region final were firsts for Yorktown as well.

The playoffs began for Yorktown by winning the Liberty District Tournament, which means the team won a triple crown of postseason lacrosse tournaments.

“It’s so hard to even get to a state final. But the tough mental fortitude of this group is what separates it, and we were true road warriors,” said Greg Beer, Yorktown’s head coach since 2006. “There was never any lashing out among the players. They always stayed calm and believed in what we were doing and our plan. If we got behind, that didn’t bother us. We were built to be behind because we stayed so composed.”

In the state final, the seesaw match had five ties and four lead changes. Yorktown led 8-5, then Battlefield rallied to tie the match at 8, sending it into a four-minute sudden death overtime.

The contest ended quickly with Yorktown’s Miles Fang winning the overtime faceoff. Matteo Roman scooped up a ground ball, passed to Alex Wilson, who scored the game-winning goal just 34 seconds into the extra period. He had two goals in the match.

“We wanted to score in a hurry in OT if we could,” Beer said.

Also in the state final, Miller and Connor Kaetzel each had two goals and Tyler Randles (two assists), Jack Martinez (one assist) and defenseman Patrick Ferguson had one each.

Goalie Gabe Margosis made multiple saves, and had an interception of a Battlefield pass near the goal that ignited a four-goal unanswered Yorktown run, giving the Patriots an 8-5 lead to 10:58 left in the match.

Fang won multiple faceoffs for Yorktown.

Battlefield took a 1-0 lead, Yorktown then rallied for a 2-1 advantage, with the match tied at 3 after the first period, Battlefield was ahead 5-4 at halftime, then the Patriots leading 7-5 after three quarters.

Beer credited the Yorktown defense for strong play all season. Junior Jacob Williams was another standout defensive player for Yorktown.

“Our defense does its thing of being tough and shutting down teams, then our offense takes over,” he said. “It’s the best defense we’ve had here.”

In the state semifinal against Robinson (12-2), Yorktown rallied from a 6-4 deficit after three quarters.

Kaetzel led the scoring with three goals and one assist and seven shots. Wilson had two goals and took eight shots, Miller (two assists) and Will Hock each had one goal and Roman had one assist and four ground balls. Ferguson had five ground balls and Alex Wisersberg two.

Margosis had a busy game with 19 saves.

Yorktown won the region tournament with a 3-0 record, downing the Langley Saxons, 8-1, in the title match.

The match started slow for the Patriots, with Langley taking an early 1-0 lead. It was all Yorktown after that, as the Patriots scored eight unanswered goals.

Randles (two goals, one assist) began the Patriots’ scoring with his first of two goals halfway through the first quarter. In the second quarter, the Patriots took full control by scoring five goals and taking a 6-1 halftime lead.

Yorktown netted two more goals in the second half.

Kaetzel led the team with three goals. Miller, Garrett Wing and Liam Anderson had a goal each. Wilson had two assists, and Roman and Brian Simmons had an assist each.

Ferguson had four ground balls, Oscar Concia had two, Margosis made 13 saves and Fang won multiple faceoffs.

The Patriot defense was suffocating throughout the region final.

Yorktown defeated Langley by a goal each in two previous meetings during the season, the second in the Liberty District Tournament championship match. The dominating win in the region final was a surprise.

 “We had all the momentum. We were tired of giving them close games,” Roman said.

NOTE: With Yorktown from Arlington and Battlefield from Prince William County, the 2021 boys state lacrosse final was the first that did not include a Fairfax County team, since the tourney began in 2006.

Logan Springberg contributed to this story.

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