Chantilly senior Ryan Rizzo scored his first goal Tuesday off a midair pirouette and notched his second on a fadeaway shot after dodging from behind the net. But defenseman Brendan Wallace didn’t truly understand how surreal this night had become for the home team until Rizzo’s third goal, when he faked a pass, then wound up and fired a laser into the back of the net to start the fourth quarter.
The Chantilly sideline erupted in celebration, well aware the Chargers would soon secure a 10-4 victory over Robinson to capture the Virginia 6A North region boys’ lacrosse championship.
“That’s when we knew we got our swagger back,” Wallace said. “We had a swagger, but we’ve really started to hit our stride.”
Chantilly (19-2) put together a dominating performance against the defending Virginia 6A state champion Rams, grabbing momentum quickly behind a powerful defense and plenty of depth. The Chargers eventually built a 9-1 lead once Rizzo completed his hat trick.
With junior midfielder Colin Meehan limited by an illness, Chantilly had seven different players register a goal. Robinson, meanwhile, committed a turnover on all but one of its first-half possessions, and that was only because the buzzer sounded for halftime.
Combined with Chantilly’s 10-7 win over Robinson (16-4) in last month’s Conference 5 final, in which the Rams were shut out in the second half, the Chargers went more than 48 minutes without giving up a goal against their chief competition when this year’s Virginia 6A state tournament begins later this week.
Wallace, an Ohio State recruit who teamed with fellow captain Javin Re and junior Josh Wagner on the back end, credited this defensive prowess to a recent embrace of “dumbing it down.”
“We used to focus way too much on schemes,” Wallace said. “But once we stopped focusing so much on the X’s and O’s and started just playing as a unit, our ‘D’ has just skyrocketed.”
Robinson made a brief surge midway through the fourth quarter when junior Chris White scored two of his three goals on the man advantage to cut the Chantilly lead to 9-4. But at that point, the Chargers were brimming with confidence after a night filled with highlight reel goals and ruthless longpole defense.
Last spring marked the first since since 2010 and just the second since 2008 that didn’t end with Chantilly in the Virginia state title game. Instead, the Chargers were forced to watch rivals Robinson and Langley face off for a trophy Chantilly hoisted in 2013. Tuesday the Chargers looked every bit a team capable of returning to the state final.
“I knew it was our night before any of that,” Rizzo insisted. “I knew when we were coming out on the field, the energy just between all of us, we came ready to play from the get go and we didn’t let go of the gas.”
Langley led from start to finish in a 12-10 victory over Battlefield in the Virginia 6A North region boys’ lacrosse consolation game Tuesday at Chantilly. Seniors Weston Simonedes, Gunnar Okeson and Mason Trunnell combined for seven goals and eight assists. Both Langley (13-8) and Battlefield (13-6) advanced to the Virginia 6A state tournament.
Langley will face Woodbridge on Friday in a state quarterfinal while Robinson hosts Battlefield in the other quarterfinal.