IRMO - Lowcountry high school lacrosse was on full display Saturday at Irmo High School with four area schools playing for S.C. High School League championships.
Bishop England’s girls won their fourth consecutive state championship in Class AAAA, while Oceanside Collegiate's boys repeated as champions, beating Lowcountry foe Bishop England.
Wando’s boys team saw its four-year championship run come to an end, losing to Fort Mill 13-8 in the Class AAAAA finals. The Warriors, who were making their eighth straight appearance in the finals, suffered their first loss to an in-state school since March 2018, also to Fort Mill.
Bishop England 15, Christ Church 4
When Bishop England won last year’s AAAA girls title, coach Jeff Weiner thought he had just coached the best team in school history. Those thoughts changed a bit on Saturday after Weiner watched his undefeated team dominate in a fourth consecutive championship game win.
“Boy, this team was really special, really good team,” Weiner said. “Nobody has ever done what we just did, on the girls side. I told the girls before the game that I thought last year’s team was arguably our best ever. This team was better. This team was better because we had more parts. We had so much depth. I mean, we had a girl (Francis Poch) score four goals today, a freshman, and she doesn’t even start. I had more flexibility to move parts around than I’ve ever had. We were really good today.”
Five different players scored for the Bishops. Senior Grace Ann Carlson scored five goals and fellow senior Ava Ward added three scores. Both walked away with four gold medals.
“We take nothing for granted, and we know that we have to play our best every time we take the field,” said Ward, who finished the season with 79 goals. “Our focus and determination is our biggest strength. We knew we had to bring our best today, and I think we played our best game of the year.”
Bishop England (19-0) dominated time of possession by a large margin in the first half, creating numerous turnovers and winning the majority of loose balls. The Bishops opened a 4-0 lead midway through the first half en route to a 6-2 halftime lead. Carlson, Ward and Poch each had two scoring tallies in the half.
“Our defense played great again,” Weiner said. “This is a great defense that we have. I thought we were as good today as ever. We gave up four goals in a state championship game. That’s pretty impressive.”
The Bishops put up nine goals in the second half, getting three from Carlson and two more from Poch. Ward, Morgan Roberts, Kennedy Coupe and Brooke Dominiak added scores.
“As seniors, this is what we wanted,” said Carlson, who tallied 61 goals and 57 assists this season. “Winning four in a row is such a privilege. To get here once is amazing. To do it four times in a row, it’s surreal.”
Oceanside Collegiate 16, Bishop England 5
The Landsharks (11-6) repeated as Class AAAA boys state champions with their win over Bishop England. The turning point came late in the second period. After the Bishops scored to cut Oceanside’s lead to 5-3, the Landsharks scored three times in three-minute span to take an 8-3 lead.
Bishop England got a goal just before halftime, but the Landsharks opened the third with two goals in the first four minutes for a commanding 10-4 advantage. Six unanswered goals in final period pushed the lead to 16-5.
Adam Lipskey and Chase Meilan each tallied four goals, while Chase Meilan and Cade O’Reilly each added three scores in Oceanside Collegiate’s balanced attack.
“We took care of the ball, and that was key for us,” OCA coach Tom Harris said. “We did some good things out there. We did what we have to do to win, pass the ball and take the best shots. Really proud of the way we played. I thought we showed what we were capable of today.”
Dennis Treasurer paced Bishop England with two goals. Ben Kinsinger, Bryan Wain and Michael Long also scored for the Bishops, who finished the season at 11-4.
“Little bit of avalanche, and we couldn’t slow them down,” Bishop England coach Tyler Tracy said. “We have a young team, and we couldn’t answer, couldn’t keep up. They’re a very good team. We were playing defense for a long time today. We’re not very deep, but we played extremely hard.”
Fort Mill 13, Wando 8
Fort Mill came out clearly the aggressor and dominated play early, grabbing a 5-1 lead late in the period. Wando rallied in the second to tie the game at 6 by halftime.
However, Fort Mill opened the third period with three unanswered scores in the first five minutes to claim a 9-6 lead and led 10-7 heading into the fourth.
Zack Terry had six goals and Trenton Wiley added five for the Yellow Jackets. Senior Jack Shipman paced Wando with three goals before leaving the contest with an injury in the third quarter.
Fort Mill added three unanswered goals in the first seven minutes of the final quarter to take a 13-7 lead with 4:56 left in the contest.
“Fort Mill came in as a very motivated team and congratulations to those guys,” Wando coach Lance Renes said. “We got down and came back, but getting down again in the third quarter, we just didn’t have anything left. Lacrosse is a game of runs, and we couldn’t match them in the second half.”
Wando’s season ends at 17-3, while Fort Mill finished 15-3.