Leesburg (May 15, 2013) – With just under two minutes to play, the Loudoun County High School boys’ lacrosse team made the most of a set of screens in front of the net as senior midfielder Jacob Averys sent a shot cruising into the back of the net to take a 7-6 lead over the Dominion Titans in the Dulles District Tournament championship game.
Averys’ goal would be the decider as the Raiders’ defense stepped up late en route to Loudoun County’s first ever district tournament championship, capping off an undefeated 11-0 run in the Dulles District — an 8-0 regular season run followed by three tournament wins.
“I came open and the lane was there,” Averys, a first team all-district selection, said. “I went for it; it was just instinct. I stuck it bottom, right low and it went in.”
Loudoun County (16-0) had difficulty finding the back of the net later in the game, not scoring for fourteen straight minutes leading up to the game-winner while the Titan’s keeper Christian Renick locked down the goal for Dominion (11-5).
“We spent most of the night putting the ball right into the goalie’s stick,” Raiders’ head coach Dave Colangelo said. “We generated great looks all game, whether it was man or in a 6-on-6, we continued to create great scoring opportunities for ourselves and pretty much all night shot right into his stick.”
The great looks came in the form of seven Raider goals by Evan O’Hara (3), Clay Duncan, Sean Rogers, Dean Hildner and Averys. Colangelo noted that Averys made a change that allowed him to put away the go-ahead goal.
“The one ‘J’ scored at the end, it was low and through traffic and it was just that much harder for their goalie to get his stick on the ball,” Colangelo said. “We tried telling our guys all night that we needed to change planes. Jake did what we asked him to do in the end, and that’s why he is a first team all-district player.”
Even though Averys seemed to be the hero on the field, Colangelo made it clear that sophomore goalie Michael Hochstein was the ultimate key to the Raiders success, allowing just under 3.4 goals per game this season.
“I really do believe Michael is the best goalie in the district,” Colangelo said. “He made all kinds of saves that we expected him to make, and he made some that he might have stolen a couple from them that would have been otherwise goals. I think he is unbelievable.””
Hochstein was tested late when Dominion had two one-on-one chances in the last five minutes that he reeled in.
“I just try to keep a clear head,” the young goalie said. “If you get emotions in the way, you probably won’t make the save. Just watch it into your stick and try to make the save the best you can.”
Hochstein did allow six goals in the form of connections by Dominion’s Cody Farmer (3), Brett Bushman (2) and Benjamin Tarrant, but his play in net has the Raiders wanting more.
“We want to get them all,” Hochstein said about their upcoming regional games. “This is the first time we’ve really been a competitor and we want to get it all.”
The Raiders and Titans will both advance to play in the Virginia State AA Northern Sectional tournament.