Ethan Powley’s plan for his senior lacrosse season at Paul VI took a serious detour in the second game of the spring when he took a helmet to the chin against Georgetown Prep and broke his jaw in two places.
The longstick midfielder had been planning for matchups with some of the top players in the Washington Catholic Athletic Conference. With his jaw wired shut for the next five weeks, Powley faced a different challenge.
He pushed through a trying recovery, getting his nutrients during the first stretch from protein shakes, meal replacement drinks and once a pureed Chipotle burrito.
“Every time standing on the sideline, watching practices — It was tough,” Powley said.
On Thursday — eight weeks removed from the injury — the Duke commit helped second-ranked Paul VI beat DeMatha, 13-8, in Fairfax to reach its first WCAC tournament final.
Senior Connor Murphy scored five goals and senior Logan Aunon added three goals and four assists as the Panthers earned a matchup with top-ranked Gonzaga in Monday’s final at the University of Maryland. The Eagles knocked off No. 10 St. Mary’s Ryken, 19-5, in the other semifinal.
The Panthers (18-2) pulled away from the Stags (11-8) after halftime, scoring four straight goals in the third quarter to break a 5-5 tie.
“It means the world for all of us to finally be competing for a WCAC championship,” said Murphy, who scored four goals.
Earlier Thursday in the District, Gonzaga senior Alex Corboy had three goals and three assists, and the Eagles (18-2) held the Knights (14-6) scoreless until the final minute of the third quarter.. . .
In a girls’ semifinal, Bishop Ireton junior goalie Olivia Cole made six of her 11 saves in the second half in a 13-5 win over defending WCAC champion Holy Cross (13-7). The Cardinals (16-4) will meet third-ranked Good Counsel (16-3-1) in Monday’s final at the University of Maryland.
The Yellow Jackets’ junior attacker is the undisputed engine of her team’s offense, but when her team took on Forest Park earlier this season, Wessels was limited to just one half before she was ejected for receiving a pair of yellow cards and the Yellow Jackets had to scrap for a narrow overtime victory.
In Thursday night’s rematch in Manassas, Wessels made a point of putting her stamp on the Yellow Jackets’ 14-9 win.
The Northwestern recruit scored eight goals, including three straight to open the game, and dished out four assists in the regular season finale for Osbourn Park (12-2, 12-0), securing home-field advantage for the Yellow Jackets in next week’s AAA Cardinal District tournament as well as the top seed in the Northwest Region tournament.
Wessels relied heavily on her speed against Forest Park (11-2, 11-2), scoring three times on fast breaks following a draw. In more settled offensive situations, Wessels frequently drew two and sometimes three Bruins defenders, freeing up teammates like senior Allison Notarantonio, who twice converted passes from Wessels into wide-open goals.
“I don’t really think I went out with a mentality that I had to score,” Wessels said. “It was a mentality that if you don’t play me correctly, I’m going to score. And if you do play me correctly, I’m going to dish it to one of my family members and they’re going to score on you.”