The Bishop England girls and Wando boys lacrosse teams enter Saturday’s state championships with revenge on their minds.
Bishop England faces two-time defending champion J.L. Mann, the team that beat the Bishops, 15-14, in the 2013 state championship game. Saturday’s game is set for 11 a.m. at Chapin High School.
Soon after his team held off Wando in the lower state title match earlier this week, Bishop England coach Jeff Weiner was talking about J.L. Mann.
“We kinda feel like we owe them one,” Weiner said. “We scored three goals in 27 seconds at the end of that match in 2013. We got a tough call late and maybe without that call, we score and force overtime. We certainly felt like we were deserving that night and we feel like we’re deserving this year. Our team has been No. 1 all season and we feel like we’ve earned it.”
Bishop England (17-2) didn’t play J.L. Mann (16-3) during the season, but the two teams were in Atlanta together for a tournament.
“They’re a good team, as always,” Weiner said. “We saw them, they saw us. There won’t be any secrets. The team that plays best will win.”
The Bishops bring into the game the state’s second-best scoring offense and second-best scoring defense. Bishop England held Wando, which led the state in scoring with 20 goals per game, to seven goals on Tuesday.
J.L. Mann (16-3) did not lose to an in-state opponent this season. The Patriots also play great team defense, allowing only 6.3 goals per game — good for third in the statewide rankings.
Wando also is seeking a bit of payback on Saturday, taking on Fort Mill in the state final at 1:30 p.m. at Chapin High School. Fort Mill beat Wando, 15-13, in last year’s championship game. Wando (20-0) beat Fort Mill (12-3), 17-5, in February.
The Warriors are seeking a third championship in four years.
“There’s no better way for us to finish the season than with an opportunity to reclaim that title against Fort Mill,” said Wando coach Lance Renes. “They’re a completely different team than we saw earlier this season.”
On paper, Wando should be heavily favored to win the championship. The Warriors are the state’s top-ranked offensive team, averaging 17 goals per game, while allowing only 4.5 goals — tops in the state.
Fort Mill is scoring only eight goals per game while allowing six scores. Fort Mill advanced to the finals with a 7-6 win over Riverside.