Boys lacrosse beats EC Glass, secures rematch with Langley

The varsity boys lacrosse team had plenty of excuses for not winning their state quarterfinal game against EC Glass on June 4. It was the day after Prom, they had to endure an 172 mile bus ride to Lynchburg and they had to face a team that had lost just one game all season. The Atoms, however, needed none of them, as they were able to overcome all of these obstacles en route to a 13-9 victory and a berth in the state semi-finals.

“A three hour bus ride gives you a lot of time to think about gettin’ it done,” senior Andy Craig said.

The team wasted no time in their quest to “get it done.” Craig won the opening faceoff and the Atoms got off two shots before sophomore Zack Lalande was able to tally the game’s first goal. Senior Peter Hagen then put the Atoms up by two after running the length of the field and unleashing a shot from 10 yards out. A minute later, senior Nick Lalande scored and increased the lead to 3-0.

EC Glass fought back, however, spurred by three goals from junior Jim Moore, who has already committed to play lacrosse at West Point, and a goalie that saved nearly everything that came his way. The Hilltoppers were able to counter the Atoms’ quick start with five unanswered goals of their own and take a 5-3 lead with 7 minutes remaining in the first half. Hagen’s second goal and two goals from senior Nathan Miller sent the teams into halftime tied 6-6.

“It was hard [to have to play after Prom and the long bus ride] because it was nothing like our normal pregame routine,” Miller said. “But we found our legs in the second half and were able to play our game.”

After giving up a goal early in the third, the Atoms took control of the game. Andy Craig continued to dominate on faceoffs – he won all but four the entire game – and the team received scoring from senior Stephen Craig, junior Ryan Miller and sophomore James Terrell. They carried a 12-8 lead into the fourth quarter and were able to possess the ball and get an insurance goal from Ryan Miller to win the game 13-9.

“[In the second half,] We knew we had to take care of the ball better, not force the crease and be more disciplined about making smarter passes,” Ryan Miller, who finished with three goals in the game, said

Nathan Miller led the team with four goals and Hagen tallied two while also being tasked with defending Moore.

With the win, the Atoms advance to the VHSL State Championships semi-final game against Langley. The game will be played on June 8 at Westfield at 5 p.m. AHS played the Saxons in the Northern Region Tournament semi-finals as well and came out on top in that game, 12-8.

“[If we’re going to beat Langley again] we need to play the up-tempo game that we are good at and not let them settle the ball down,” Hagen said.

In the other semi-final, Northern Region Champion Chantilly plays Albemarle High School. The finals will be played on June 11 at 8 p.m. at Westfield.