Like a well-oiled machine, the Bishop England girls lacrosse program continues to roll through all opposition.
The Bishops improved to 18-0 on the season with a convincing 21-3 win over visiting Bluffton to advance to Saturday’s Class AAAA state championship matchup with Christ Church. The contest is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Bishop England will be playing for a fourth consecutive title, having won the last three. It will be the sixth finals appearance in seven years for coach Jeff Weiner’s program.
“Little bit of a slow start, but we got it going,” Weiner said. “There’s no way we should have allowed three goals. This is a good team, a great group to coach. We have some experience and they’ve been in a lot of big games. When we play as well as we are capable of playing, we’re pretty hard to beat. Everyone knows that.”
Senior all-state attack Ava Ward scored nine goals, including five in the first half, to pace a balanced attack for the Bishops. All-stater Grace Ann Carlson added five goals and Kennedy Coupa tallied a pair.
Bishop England scored three goals in the first five minutes and led 3-2 early. The closeness of the contest seem to wake up the Bishops, who scored eight unanswered goals and led 11-3 by halftime.
Ward scored four more goals in the first 10 minutes of the second half and Bishop England opened a 16-3 lead. Carlson posted three goals in a five minute span to break the game open at 20-3 with 3:30 to play.
“The second half is more indicative of the way we play,” Weiner said. “We moved the ball much better, passed it well. We just played sharper, played better. It’s good to win and keep playing. We have to do it one more time.”
Two other local girls teams played for a spot in the state finals as well on Tuesday night. Oceanside Collegiate lost to visiting Christ Church 11-9 in the other AAAA semifinal.
Oceanside trailed 11-4 at the half but pitched a second-half shutout to nearly pull off the comeback. Wando dropped a 13-6 decision to undefeated Chapin in a Class AAAAA semifinal.
The Lowcountry made it a clean sweep in boys semifinal contests. Wando advanced to the Class AAAAA finals with a 17-5 win over Dutch Fork.
The Warriors are making their ninth appearance in the finals, having won four consecutive championships.
Oceanside Collegiate and Bishop England will meet Saturday for the Class AAAA boys championship. Oceanside Collegiate, the defending state champions, knocked off Greenville 17-5. Colin Reich and Cade O’Reilly each scored three goals, while Owen Ciali and Adam Lipskey added two goals each.
Bishop England went on the road and knocked off the state’s top seed, A.C. Flora. Dennis Treasurer scored three goals while Brian Wain and Michael Long tallied two each.
Oceanside and Bishop England will play at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday at Irmo High. Wando will play Fort Mill at 6:30 p.m in the AAAAA finals.