Saturday was a big day in high school lacrosse as three Lowcountry schools captured state championships at Irmo High School.
Wando captured a fourth consecutive championship with a strong second-half performance to beat Dutch Fork, 15-8, in the Class AAAAA boys title match.
Bishop England’s girls made it three consecutive titles with a 10-5 win over Chapin in the Class AAAA championship, while Oceanside Collegiate capped its first varsity season with a 15-5 win over Greenville in the Class AAAA boys finals.
Shipman makes the most of opportunity
Last year, Wando’s Jack Shipman watched from the sideline as his teammates won a third consecutive state championship. He was determined to be more than a cheerleader on the sideline this spring.
Shipman, who missed the entire 2017 season with an injury, scored five goals in the state title match to lift Wando to its second straight Class AAAAA title and fourth straight championship overall.
“It’s a great feeling to be on the field with my teammates and to have this chance to celebrate for real this year,” said the junior. “Last year was tough, not being able to contribute. I didn’t score a goal the whole season, and
today I scored five.”
Senior Logan Morris added five goals for Wando while Quinn Corrigan and Tommy Marcoon scored two apiece. Luke Sutton added a score as well.
Shipman, who finished this season with 23 goals, was one of seven new starters on this year’s Wando squad, while Morris took on the role of senior leader and walked away with his third gold medal.
“Some may have doubted us after all that we lost from last year’s team, but we never doubted ourselves,” said Morris, who scored 26 goals this season. “We had to rise to the occasion. We were a heckuva lot more intimidating last year with all those seniors, but we made it work this year with what we had. We played together as a team, and we had a lot of guys that could contribute. I think you saw that today. We just pick each other up.”
Wando held a 7-6 halftime lead but secured the victory by outscoring the Silver Foxes 4-0 in the third period.
“We made some key adjustments in the second half, and our seniors stepped up big,” Wando coach Lance Renes said. “These are the type of guys where when they get punched, they punch back. We were fine at halftime. We knew it would be a dogfight. We knew we had to scratch and claw to get it done.”
Pizzo goes out in style
Senior Emma Pizzo leaves Bishop England as the state’s all-time leading scorer with 496 points. However, more importantly in her eyes, Pizzo is leaving as a three-time state champion. That was her primary objective this season.
“It feels so amazing,” said Pizzo, who is headed to Mercer University in the fall. “This one, being my last one, is the most special. “I’m going to miss this team. These are my best friends and I love them all. I am so glad we played so hard and got it done. It’s a special season for us.”
Bishop England coach Jeff Weiner said replacing Pizzo, a four-year starter, will not be easy.
“She’s such a special talent and a great leader in our program,” the coach said. “It’s going to be very different not seeing her out there next season. She’s been so important to our success.”
Bishop England completed its first perfect season at 18-0 with a balanced scoring effort and a suffocating defense. The Bishops did not allow Chapin a second-half goal in recording their seventh straight win over the Upper State champions.
“People have heard me say it before, we are a defensive team,” Weiner said. “We score goals and all that, but 75 percent of our practice time is spent on defense. Our offense is good because they practice against the best defensive team in the state every single day. It kind of goes hand in hand for us.”
Morgan Roberts and Ava Ward scored two goals each, with Pizzo, Grace Ann Carlson, Ellie Long and Kennedy Coupe adding solo scores.
Bishop England never trailed in the contest and held an 8-5 lead at halftime.
Oceanside makes mark
Senior Riley Seay was a part of three state championship teams as a player at Wando before opting to transfer to Oceanside Collegiate to play for coach Tom Harris, his club coach.
Seay picked up a fourth gold medal in leading the Landsharks to a convincing 15-5 win over Greenville. Seay tallied four goals in the first quarter, finishing with eight, while junior Colin Reich added four goals in the win.
“I came here to learn more with this coaching staff and these players, and to increase my leadership skills as I prepare for the next level,” Seay, who finishes with 163 career goals after tallying 98 goals at Wando in three seasons. He had 65 goals this season. “I could not be more proud of these guys. Watching us play, you would never think we had six sophomores on the field. We are a legit team, and we grew so much as a team this season.”
The championship game was close for only a few minutes. The Landsharks were tied, 1-1, in the first two minutes before reeling off five straight goals to end the first quarter. The lead was 7-2 at the half, but the Landsharks outscored Greenville 6-0 in the third period as Reich scored three times.
Oceanside Collegiate played a junior varsity schedule in 2017 but has officially made its mark on the varsity level.
“This is awesome,” Harris said. “When we write it up before the season, this is the goal. We felt last year, as a jayvee team, that this could be on the horizon. Really proud of these guys.”
J.L. Mann repeats
The defending state champions scored three goals in a six-minute span of the second-half to overcome Fort Mill, 7-5, in the girls AAAAA state finals.
J.L. Mann, led by Annie Zemp’s two goals, won its seventh state championship. Zemp’s goal with 9:34 left in the contest gave Mann a 6-5 lead and proved to be the game-winning score.
Mann finished 18-3 on the season while Fort Mill finished at 14-4. Fort Mill’s Wallace Cortazar had three goals in the loss.