Saturday, May 21, 2011

Country Day nabs fourth straight boys lacrosse championship

State lacrosse championships are becoming very common place at Charlotte Country Day. The Bucaneers won their fourth straight NCISAA title on Saturday with a 13-6 victory over Durham Academy on a sun-splashed day at Dowd field on the campus of Country Day.

Charlotte Country Day and Durham Academy have dominated the NCISAA lacrosse tournament since it's inception in 1997. The two teams have now faced each other in the championship game eight times, with the Cavaliers taking five titles. Saturday though was the Bucaneers day.

Senior attackman Alex Teller had four goals and an assist for Country Day (16-5), while sophomore midfielder Michael Radford added three goals. Bucs senior goalie Buddy Evans was solid, making big stops when the Cavaliers tried to get back in the game. Junior attackman Ben Lucas also scored twice for Country Day, including his first goal of the day eight minutes into the first quarter which gave the Bucs the lead for good at 4-3. Kyle Fairchild and Andy Kuo each had a pair of goals for the Cavaliers.

Durham Academy (14-7) had a hard playoff road playing four games in the past eight days, with three of those contests on the road. According to Country Day Head Coach Brad Touma, the Cavaliers tough playoff travel schedule was a key to the Bucs win Saturday.

"I think one of the biggest things that played into our favor was the fact that Durham Academy had such a tough road to get here," said Touma. "The fact that they were able to take care of Christ School and beat them 4-3 on Thursday that gave us the home-field advantage, that was one of the huge keys."

Teller was a handful for Durham Academy, as the senior may have saved his best game all season for Saturday's championship. "I felt great and think it's been the best game I've played all season," said Teller. "The state championship is the pinacle of our season and we won it."

While the Country Day offense racked up 13 goals, the Bucs goalie and defense were effective in holding the lead. Durham Academy scored the only two goals of the third quarter to get within four at 10-6. But that's when Evans was at his best making several key saves to blank the Cavaliers the rest of the way. "I always do my best to throw any part of my body in front of the ball to stop it, " said Evans. "A goalie is only as good as the defense, and I have a great defense here at Charlotte Country Day."

The victory gave the Bucaneers their eighth overall championship, and improved Touma's coaching record at Country Day to 383-109.

NOTES: The NCISAA lacrosse all-state selections were announced following Saturday's championship. Local winners included: Wake Hamilton, Buddy Evans and Thomas Passenant from Country Day; Sam Rush and Jake Flynn from Providence Day; Thomas Armstrong and Carson Claugh from Charlotte Latin.