Bishop England girls lacrosse coach Jeff Weiner says his team must be ready from the opening seconds to the end match of today’s Lower State championship against Wando.
High School Lacrosse Playoffs
BoysUpper StateFort Mill at GreenvilleLower StateA.C. Flora at Wando, 7:30 p.m.GirlsUpper StateFort Mill at J.L. MannLower StateBishop England at Wando, 5:30 p.m.
The Bishops dropped 14-12 and 12-10 decisions to the Warriors in the regular season.
“We had poor starts, slow starts,” said Weiner, whose team plays at top-seeded Wando at 5:30 p.m.. “I don’t know if we were ready for their intensity, especially in the first match.”
The state title game is Saturday at White Knoll High School.
“Every game we play them is intense because we have the two best teams in the state,” said Weiner, whose team enters with a 14-4 record and the No. 2 seed. “The players on both teams know each other very well. On the day of a game, they will tweet each other. In the offseaon, they play together on the same club team. It makes for one intense rivalry.”
The Bishops start only one senior, Cora Petyak, while Elena Bosco heads up a talented junior class. She leads the team in scoring despite missing three games with an injury.
“We upgraded our schedule this year,” Weiner said. “We have 22 players on the roster, but we are thin. Only two of our subs are experienced. Every other sub lacks quality time.”
The Bishops have fared well in the playoffs. They defeated Hilton Head 19-2 and Chapin 17-10, Chapin was 14-1 heading into the match against the Bishops.
Wando, which is 12-1 and seeking its second state championship in three years, advanced with a forfeit over Richland Northeast and the beat Academic Magnet 16-3.
The Wando boys are seeking their second straight title, but first must get past A.C. Flora (today, 7:30 p.m.)
The Warrior boys are 14-1 and have been impressive in the playoffs. They beat Ridge View 22-4 and followed that up with a 13-6 decision over Hilton Head.
“This is their first time in the semifinals,” Wando coach Lance Renes said. “We know they will be fired up. They have a large group of seniors. They have good stick skills and are good shooters.”
Renes said his team’s playoff experience will not be a factor.
“We’re focusing on this season and this game,” he said. “We are not looking back. We are concerned with here and now.”
Follow Philip M. Bowman on Twitter: @PandCPhil