All season, the No. 10 Wootton boys’ lacrosse team felt underestimated. Montgomery County’s lacrosse Web site didn’t name a Patriot to its preseason all-county watch list, and the Patriots took note. When other outlets called perennial powerChurchill most likely to finish atop the Montgomery 4A/3A South division, the Patriots remembered that, too.
Saturday, the Patriots replaced the chips on their shoulders with targets on their backs, emerging as county front-runners with a 14-6 win over Churchill, the team that knocked them out of the playoffs each of the past two seasons.
“We definitely feel like we proved something, but we knew we could do this,” said Wootton attacker Austin Schoenfeld. “We liked it that way: No one paying attention to us or scouting us as hard as they should have maybe.”
Schoenfeld ensured his name would appear in future scouting reports with a five-goal performance, which combined with a seven-point day from fellow attackman Jake Mitchell to propel the Wootton offense. But the standout showing of the day came from defenseman Cole Abid, who the Patriots (10-0, 4-0 Montgomery County 4A/3A South) handed the unenviable task of marking Maryland-bound Churchill attack Louis Dubick
Abid studied “more film than his coaches and teammates combined” on the Bulldogs, according to Schoenfeld, and asked teammates to mimic Dubick’s go-to moves in practice. Dubick had scored 86 points in 10 games before Saturday, but Abid held him scoreless.
“I don’t think Dubick has ever been shut out in high school, so Cole had a great game,” Wootton Coach Colin Thompson said. “He’s a heck of a defender.”
Abid said he didn’t give a thought to Dubick’s stats throughout the game, and only did so when a teammate told him afterward.
“I was like, ‘Oh wow, cool!,’ ” Abid said. “He beat me a couple times today, but he did a good job getting open. He definitely deserves to be going to Maryland, it took a lot of hustle to guard that kid.”
With Dubick silenced, Churchill (9-2, 3-1 Montgomery County 4A/3A South) couldn’t mount the kind of comeback it needed to respond to a first-half Patriots barrage, which left the Bulldogs trailing 8-2 at halftime. When Bulldogs found their way to the Wootton net, Patrick Cornelius had answers, particularly in the midst of a third-quarter rally during which Churchill continually looked ready to pour in goals — only to see chances stifled in Cornelius’s stick.
The victory is Wootton’s first against Churchill in its past three tries dating from 2012. With the victory, the Patriots leap to the top of the 4A/3A South regular season standings.
“It’s a really good feeling, a solid team win,” Abid said. “It’s a lot of retribution after they beat us the past two years. It was a great game showing the skill we have and potential we have to go far in the playoffs. It’s so great to finally get back at them.”