W.T. Woodson attackman Nick Purkat made school history this season as a playmaker, setting a school record in assists. Last night in Fairfax, the junior scored the winning goal with 2 minutes 3 seconds remaining in sudden-death overtime to lead No. 6 W.T. Woodson to an 8-7 victory over Albemarle of Charlottesville in the Virginia Invitational.
The No. 3 W.T. Woodson girls also came away with a Virginia Invitational title, defeating Western Albemarle of Crozet, 15-10, to end the season unbeaten at 18-0.
The invitational, which features the Virginia AAA Northern Region and Northwestern Region champions, serves as the unofficial state championship for boys and girls lacrosse. Both sports are not sanctioned by the Virginia High School League.
The W.T. Woodson boys (15-3) trailed Albermarle, 7-3, late in the fourth quarter, but reeled off four unanswered goals to force the four-minute sudden-death overtime. Purkat's goal transpired after senior defenseman Tony Gioconda stripped an Albemarle player of the ball at midfield. Gioconda passed downfield to Purkat, who beat goalie Brandon Payne with a low, bouncing shot.
"The goalie basically gave me the whole side of the goal to shoot at," said Purkat, who finished with a school-record 62 assists this season. "When I got the ball, I felt pretty confident I could score."
The W.T. Woodson girls won its second state title since 1997, which was the inaugural year of the Virginia Invitational. The Cavaliers led 9-8 with 15:45 remaining and extended their lead with a 4-0 run.
"We knew this would be a special year," W.T. Woodson Coach Darah Bonham said.
Senior midfielder Lesley Golenor led the Lady Cavaliers with six goals. Sophomore attack Johanna Buchholtz added four.
Box scores on Page D14