Although he is listed on the Osbourn Park boys' lacrosse roster as a midfielder, senior Dylan Besley is known to his teammates as Fo-Go, which Coach Kevin Marsh jokingly explained is short for "face off, then get off the field."
On Thursday night, with Besley's help, Osbourn Park got off the field with a 10-6 victory over Stonewall Jackson in a Cedar Run District tiebreaker at Osbourn. With the win, the Yellow Jackets earned the district's regular season title and an automatic berth in the Northwestern Region tournament.
Senior attackman Mike Boysen (three goals), senior midfielder Brad Weems (three goals, three assists) and senior goalkeeper David Suthers were undeniably key to the victory, but Besley's play was critical. He helped the Yellow Jackets win the faceoff battle, 11-6, and his three straight faceoff wins in the first quarter led to three goals that erased an early 3-0 Stonewall lead.
"Faceoffs are really important for us, because obviously we can only score if we have the ball," said Weems, whose second-quarter goal pushed Osbourn Park ahead, 4-3, a lead it did not surrender. "We know Stonewall is the kind of team that you can't take lightly; we were lucky to come back after going down so quickly."
In the fourth quarter, Stonewall Jackson began to control the ball more, but the Raiders were unable to break through against Suthers, who had four of his 12 saves in the final four minutes.
Osbourn Park (10-3) and Stonewall (9-2) were forced to play a tiebreaker after they each went 5-1 in the district during the regular season and split their two meetings.
In Thursday's early game, Osbourn Park's girls defeated Stonewall Jackson, 13-6, in a tiebreaker game also pitting teams that went 5-1 in district play. Junior attack Shayna Sargent and senior midfielders Kerry Shannon and Lindsay Farmer each had three goals for the Yellow Jackets (13-3), who earned a region berth win the victory.
"I thought it was really more of a midfield battle because that's where I felt we really won it," Osbourn Park Coach Kate Thomas said. "Every time we play Stonewall Jackson you have to take a deep breath, because it's not only a physical battle it's an emotional one, too."
Stonewall Jackson (9-3) played without senior goalkeeper Ana Marquez, an all-Northwestern Region first-team pick a year ago who was dismissed from the team Wednesday. Coach Caitlin Barbakoff said the dismissal was for disciplinary reasons but declined to elaborate.
Senior Megan Wilkens took over in goal and helped the Raiders past Osbourn on Wednesday, 12-1, but on Thursday, Osbourn Park's strong midfield line controlled possession for most of the game. Junior Kelly McConnell contributed by scooping seven ground balls in the first half.