Riverside lacrosse gives every last ounce of gonzaga

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Coach Nick Worek had envisioned a noisy bus ride back to Leesburg when his Riverside boys’ lacrosse team got its first win over one of the country’s best private schools.

When that moment came on Wednesday with a 10-9 overtime win over Gonzaga, many of his players did not have the energy to speak. The bus driver turned to Worek and said, “Man, that’s pretty quiet.”

The milestone victory took everything out of Riverside’s players, who have dominated Virginia public schools but who had not become majorly prominent until Wednesday.

Riverside (8-1), which has won three state championships since opening in 2015, faltered in two other recent meetings with top private schools. The Loudoun County program lost to Gonzaga, 16-10, last season and to Severn School, 11-6, last month.

“The guys were just for in their own thoughts about actually playing these teams,” Worek said. “Like, ‘Oh, man, it’s a big game. We can make our mark.’ Basically, it took over instead of the actual team that they played. “

On Wednesday, Worek noted that his players were relaxed after the hour-long bus ride to northwest Washington. He kept his pregame speech simple: “Let’s just play loose. Let’s know we’re going to play a good team, but you know we’re pretty good too. Let’s just go and try to stay calm and play hard. ”

About two hours later, Riverside players stormed the field when striker James Gartland delivered the game’s winner.

One day after spoiling Gainesville’s first home game, Patriot was back in action against the team that eliminated it from the 2021 playoffs: Colgan.

The game would measure the progress that the Pioneers had made in the first month of the season – and the Pioneers learned that they still have a way to go to compete with the area’s elite team.

The Patriot scored two first-inning runs before allowing nine undefeated in a 9-2 loss that ended an 11-day stretch that included eight straight road games.

The Pioneers (7-4, 3-2 Cedar Run) boast an experienced and explosive set of bats, led by Longwood commit Mason Balsis and Indiana commit AJ Shepard. They have scored 10 or more runs six times, but coach Nick Grove said the Batters have to cut back on strikeouts as the Patriot sees another postseason race.

“The team we really have to worry about is us,” he said. “We are the team that stops us. We have to do our job, we have to hit with runners in scoring position, we have to put the ball in play and we have to execute.”

It’s late April, meaning Northern Virginia spring teams are heading into the home stretch of their regular seasons. It’s a time of adversity, where each test tells a team a little more about what it’s made of.

For the Madison Warhawks, it’s time to get on the field. The boys ‘and girls’ teams were given an unusual schedule when the school gets changed on the pitch from this week. This means that there will be no more home football matches for the rest of the season.

The boys beat the South Lakes, 2-1, on Tuesday in their last home game. Until that point, the Warhawks had played every game at home 5-1-1. Now they are on their way to six more regular season games and then the playoffs.

“It was especially important to do well, especially in conference games when we could at home,” coach Randy Wood said. “Now things are getting a little more difficult, but I think the boys will do well.”

Woods confidence comes in part from the depth of his team. He said he has 21 fielders, all of whom play in every game.

“The people we put in the game, they’re never scared. There’s no deer in the headlights,” Wood said. “They get out there and they know what to do, and that gives us a wealth of versatility.”

The value of that depth was shown last week in an overtime victory over Oakton. After the Cougars equalized in the final moments, Madison was clear and resilient in overtime as it scored two goals to secure the win.

The opening months of the season have been tough for La Plata. Due to bad weather and other schools dealing with facility issues, the Warriors have had three meetings canceled. Add in spring break and the team has only competed with its full range of athletes twice. The results have been mixed.

Coach Devonte Williams continues to find a silver line. Williams doubles as the school’s football coach and requires all football players to participate in the field, unless they are already playing another spring sport.

Williams said having his players compete as a team year-round has helped build a healthier culture and improve chemistry. La Plata’s top four wide receivers, who helped the team to one of the best seasons in the school’s history, make up the 4×100 relay team.

Since Williams implemented this requirement in 2016, the track team has had a strong display in the throwing and sprint events – and the football team has also improved and won its first playoff match this fall.

“Having these guys in the trenches with each other during the spring and fall is invaluable to our program,” Williams said. “Many of the techniques and things we teach in football are also transferred to athletics. So we can somehow get a leg up on our competition.”

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