Robinson Coach Matt Curran remembers winning state titles when he played for the Rams in the early 1990s, when the winner of the Northern Region tournament was acknowledged as unofficial state champion. Rams goalie Nick Kondracki remembers being in the stands when his brother was a freshman in the state championship in 2007, the second of two straight Robinson title wins in that decade.
But the dynasty ebbed while Langley, Chantilly and othersstepped forward. Sunday, Robinson regained its once familiar standing atop Virginia public high school lacrosse, earning the 6A state title with a 9-7 win over Langley at Lake Braddock.
“When I played, it seemed like we won state titles every other year,” said Curran, who was an assistant coach in 2006 and 2007, so he has been involved in six of Robinson’s 10 lacrosse state championships since the VHSL recognized the sport in 1991. “. . . This just felt fantastic. The guys worked so hard for this championship.”
This was far from the 15-3 rout of Langley the Rams (18-3) used to win the North region championship; the Saxons (15-7) used an impressive fourth-quarter rally to make Sunday’s game close. The signature defense that has been Robinson’s staple was at it again, forcing turnovers and slowing, if not silencing, Langley top scorers J.T. Meyer and Billy Orme.
Kondracki said the thing he remembered most from watching the 2007 championship was that “everyone looked a whole lot bigger.” No one was bigger than he was Sunday, particularly in the final two minutes when Langley fired several man-up shots. He dived back through the crease on multiple occasions, turning back point-blank shots that might have propelled the Saxons to complete a six-goal second-half comeback.
“I was like, ‘Oh man, we have to step it up,’ ” said Kondracki of the Saxons’ late charge. “In the huddle, I told the offense they had to hold it for a bit so the defense could get a break, and once they did that, we stabilized.”
That offense — which scored 11 goals combined as the Rams went 1-3 through their first four games — delivered. A key player, though he didn’t score, was junior midfielder Chapman Jasien, who missed those first four games with an injury before returning in early April. The Rams didn’t lose in the 17 games afterward.
“He’s our best offensive player, so they lock him off, which opens up the rest of our offense,” said senior midfielder Matt Smith, who scored two goals in the final.
“It’s the cohesiveness, their team chemistry is amazing,” Curran said. “. . . That and talent, and just a drive. They wanted it.”