Vashon lacrosse goes on to state

With a thrilling overtime victory over Northshore in its final regular season game, the Vashon High School Lacrosse Club earned a playoff spot for the Division I Washington High School Boys Lacrosse Association Championship.

In its final road game against second-ranked Issaquah, Vashon played without its top defender Austin Franks and one of its top midfielders, Ross Bowers.

Nevertheless, Vashon stunned Issaquah by taking a 3-1 lead in the first quarter. While Issaquah closed off Vashon’s top scorer, Dane Loraas, sophomore Gregor Davidheiser stepped up to score two of the three goals.

Issaquah’s defense then adjusted to shut down the Vashon offense. Vashon could only score once more on a rocket shot by sophomore Danny Sullivan.

However, the Vashon defense continued to play courageously. Led by the brilliant play of senior goaltender Chad Richardson, Vashon held a high-powered Issaquah offense to only five goals through three quarters.

Vashon simply ran out of gas in the fourth quarter. An Issaquah squad — double the size of Vashon’s — pulled away for a 10-4 win.

Going in to Friday night’s game against Northshore, Vashon knew it had to win to secure a playoff spot. This was a tall order against the high-scoring Northshore squad. On Senior Night and before a large crowd, this game had playoff intensity from the opening faceoff. Vashon opened the scoring in the first quarter on a laser shot from senior Ross Bowers. Northshore responded two minutes later with two consecutive goals. But Vashon answered with two more goals. Senior Aedan Weber brought a roar from the crowd on a particularly acrobatic shot. The first quarter ended with Vashon leading 4-3.

These teams exchanged leads throughout the second and third quarters. Northshore pulled ahead at halftime for a 7-6 lead and led towards the end of the third quarter, 10-9. With two minutes left in the third, Vashon’s top assist man, Gregor Davidheiser, made a smart pass to Danny Sullivan who found the back of the net to tie the game, 10-10.

Vashon’s defense went above and beyond the call of duty in the fourth quarter. Minor stick penalties put Vashon one or two men down for five minutes of the fourth quarter.

But the defense shut out Northshore with a scrambling defense and tough goaltending by Chad Richardson. Vashon’s offense could not produce either, so this game remained tied at 10 at the end of regulation.

In the overtime period, Vashon and Northshore stood toe to toe for two furious minutes of lacrosse. Each team had its scoring opportunities but could not convert. With two minutes remaining in the first overtime, senior Ross Bowers drove to the goal to score for the Vashon win.

Vashon will play at top-ranked Mercer Island in the quarterfinals for the State Championship at 7:30 p.m. Friday, May 22. The team deserves applause for being far and away the smallest school in Division I high school lacrosse and attaining this success in the 2009 season.

— Charley Rosenberry coaches the Vashon Lacrosse Club.

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