During their three-year reign atop Virginia high school lacrosse, the Langley Saxons say they’ve encountered every situation and adversity at least once.
That experience brought them back to the precipice of an unprecedented fourth consecutive state championship on Saturday night at Westfield against perennial postseason rival Chantilly. And when the Chargers surged ahead early, bottled up Langley’s offensive catalyst and drew a slew of fourth-quarter penalties, the Saxons’ experience pulled them through.
Sparked by a furious third-quarter rally and key contributions from the biggest man on the back line, Langley powered past Chantilly to claim a 12-8 win and their fourth straight title.
“This never gets old,” said Josh Sibio, one of Langley’s 17 seniors. “And to do it one more time, it’s pretty awesome.”
The Chargers, who fell to Langley in the 2011 and 2009 state finals, came out eager to reverse their fortunes. Seniors Luke Bowers and Daniel DeCenzo each scored in a 3-0 game-opening run for Chantilly while junior Jake Dansey locked up Langley all-American Sean Ahearn. But sophomore J.T. Meyer brought the Saxons (22-2) right back with a pair of goals in a 64-second span.
With Chantilly leading by a goal midway through the second quarter, Brad Dotson, Langley’s 6-foot-6 junior long pole, ran the length of the field and fired a bomb from 20 yards out to tie the game.
“I was running down the field, I wanted to pass it, but they gave me the lane and I just took it,” Dotson said. “We needed it.”
Just before the half with his team once again trailing by one, Dotson made another long run from the defensive end, faked a shot and fed Sibio whose goal knotted the score at 6. Chantilly (18-4) would not regain the lead.
Spencer Gorham won four straight faceoffs to start the second half between four consecutive goals in a six-minute span from Michael Adams, Sibio, Clay Rivers and Adams that gave the Saxons a 10-6 lead.
Conrad Unterkolfer and DeCenzo scored to bring the Chargers within two goals but they could not capitalize on three straight Langley penalties as senior goalie Andrew Spivey made several key saves down the stretch.
Saxons Coach Earl Brewer “was telling us we’re a part of history and no one is ever going to do this again,” said Spivey, who was on all four championship teams. “It feels really special to be a part of that.”
Said Brewer of his team: “They’re not spoiled rich kids from Great Falls. They’re gritty, tough kids that know what it is to succeed.”