By Matt Brooks
Thursday, May 20, 2010;
As the clock whittled down toward the end of regulation in Wednesday's AA Dulles District boys' lacrosse final between Dominion and reigning champion Broad Run, the Titans' focus was clear: end the game now.
Last spring the upstart Titans rallied from a late deficit to force overtime only to watch the Spartans hoist yet another trophy following a 17-16 victory.
This time the Titans made sure no extra period would be necessary as senior middie Thomas Dewer fired a bouncing ball past Broad Run goalie Tyler Lafollette with 10 seconds left to give Dominion its first district title and send the Titans' faithful pouring out onto the field in celebration of a 10-9 victory.
"The game was so close last year that we learned that we could beat Broad Run," Dominion Coach Pete Lenotti said. "We played hard, we were scrappy and we played with a lot of heart and a lot of guts."
The Titans (11-6) -- who were winless five short years ago and developed into a regional contender under the watch of Lenotti, a national champion at the University of North Carolina, and assistant Dave Smith, a former Virginia Cavalier -- never led until Dewer's game-winner and went into halftime trailing 6-3.
Despite a starting lineup that features four freshmen, Dominion is peaking at the perfect time. After a mid-season swoon that saw them drop four of five games, the Titans have reeled off six straight victories to propel themselves into the AA Region II tournament. By knocking off Broad Run for the first time in program history and beating Briar Woods in the tournament semifinals, the Titans atoned for their only two district losses during the regular season.
Lenotti cites junior goalie Andrew Fawkes, who had amassed 230 saves and a .770 save percentage in two playoff games before Wednesday's final, as a catalyst for the turnaround. After allowing nearly 12 goals per game during Dominion's midseason skid, Fawkes has let in a meager 6.5 goals during the winning streak.
After bowing out of the first round of regionals following a defeat at Salem in their first postseason appearance last spring, the Titans will look to build on that experience when they face Brentsville (9-5) on Monday night.
"We're gaining more experience by the game and realizing, 'Hey, maybe we're a little better than we thought we were,'" Lenotti said. "We've been through this once, we know what to expect and now we're expecting to win region games."
The biggest highlight of the night was not Dewer's goal, however. Instead it was a remarkable individual effort from Broad Run junior attackman Ryan Madigan who weaved his way through five defenders, absorbing multiple hits before slotting the ball past Fawkes into the back of the net. The goal was so astonishing that Lenotti asked the officials to check Madigan's stick after the play.
"It was such an amazing play that I had to check," Lenotti said. "It was unbelievable."
Broad Run (10-6) will host E.C. Glass while Briar Woods -- which knocked off Loudoun County 12-7 in the district third-place game -- travels to Western Albermarle as the league's third representative in the newly-expanded eight-team field.Spartans restore order in Dulles District final
The George Mason girls made a statement in the Dulles District in early April when they edged four-time defending district champions Broad Run 12-11, snapping the Spartans' streak of 44 consecutive victories against league opponents. Wednesday night in the district tournament final, the Spartans (11-4) proved they were not ready to cede their tournament throne just yet.
Senior Gwen Edwards had five goals and two assists to lead the Mustangs (15-1), who completed an undefeated run through the district regular season and had not allowed more than 11 goals in a game this season before Wednesday. Both teams advance to AA Region II play with the Mustangs taking the top seed out of the district. In the third-place game, Loudoun County squeaked past Freedom-South Riding 13-12 to extend its season.