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Virginia boys’ lacrosse: Langley pulls away from Chantilly early to take third consecutive state title

The Langley boys’ lacrosse team spent much of the postseason in one tight game after another, its hopes of a third straight Virginia state title flickering with each close contest.

The championship hopes remained alive with close wins against Battlefield (overtime) and Annandale (after overcoming a four-goal deficit) in the state semifinals.

After working so hard to earn its spot in the title game, the Saxons made sure to close it out in style. They burst out of the gate with the first five goals against No. 10 Chantilly on Saturday night en route to a 17-8 win at Westfield.

“We exploded,” senior Jack Sandusky said. “That was our best half of the season. Everything was clicking. We were going hard on ground balls. We just came out fired up.”

Junior Michael Adams scored five of his game-high nine goals in the first half and junior Sean Ahearn finished with a goal and five assists for the No. 8 Saxons.

They showcased their potent attack early and often. Sandusky, sophomore Luke Salzer and junior Hunter Bentz each added a pair of goals.

In the battle of Northern Region heavyweights, Langley (19-3) landed the first blow and kept swinging.

Ahearn set up Salzer for a goal on the game’s opening possession and assisted Hunter Bentz on a man-up goal 31 seconds later.

By the time Sandusky scored on a goal that he took in traffic with 5 minutes 7 seconds left in the first quarter, the Saxons led 5-0.

Chantilly (21-2) struggled to recover with Langley’s lead growing to 11-1 in the opening half before the Chargers went into the intermission on a two-goal burst.

By the time the Saxons closed out the win and celebrated the title, they had put together their second-largest offensive output of the season.

“It’s rewarding because when we got beat by Annandale [in the Northern Region semifinals] people thought that we kind of lost ourselves,” Adams said. “We came back and showed that you don’t have to win a region title to win a state championship.”

The Saxons’ early surge helped create distance in a rivalry that has been marked by its close finishes in recent seasons.

Langley beat Chantilly in overtime on April 19 and had won all five meetings between the teams in the past three seasons, including the 2009 state final. But each of those games was decided by two goals or fewer.

Eight players scored for Chantilly, including second-team All-Met Devon Westerman, who had a goal and two assists.

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