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Saturday, May 19, 2012

4A State Championship Preview

-- Pope Greyhounds (16-3) @ Lambert Longhorns (21-0) - Saturday 7pm at Lambert

After 3 months of regular season it comes down to a re-match of last year's 4A final between Pope and Lambert. Last year Lambert prevailed 14-7 at home, and they will be at home again as they try to defend their title and unblemished record. The Longhorns, who own the nation's longest HS winning streak, were finally tested by Westminster earlier in the week after rolling through the first 2 rounds. Pope has also impressed in their playoff wins: 13-7 over Blessed Trinity, 14-4 over Lovett, and 11-6 over Decatur.

We'll let you handle the breakdown and predictions in the comment section. Hopefully we will get a great game out of this matchup.

13 comments:

  1. Westminster did Lambert a favor by giving them a battle in the semi's. Lambert will be playing on their own turf (not that slick surface they called grass at Westy :) in front of a packed house. Lambert will be tough to beat tonight. Lambert 12 Pope 7

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    1. Final 10-7. Pope played a great game. Congrats to all players. Congrats to Longhorns for their second state championships.

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  2. Lambert Runaway TonightMay 19, 2012 at 9:38 AM

    Lambert will empty the bench early in this one.

    Pope couldn't get by Westy,and forget the national win streak.

    Lambert's program started 3 years ago and they have NEVER lost a home game in their stadium!

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  3. Lambert Won State Soccer Last Night @ The HornMay 19, 2012 at 9:46 AM

    Lambert stadium & fans all warmed up for State Championship number 2 in 2 days.

    We are going to miss 4A and all the hardware.

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  4. It will be interesting to see the new 6A+5A and 4A+3A+2A+1A region realignment in a couple of weeks.

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  5. GLB- what happen to the recap on westy lambert? That was made for tv type of game. I'm pretty sure you said you were going to

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  6. Game recap can be found online in the Forsyth News Paper here http://sports.forsythnews.com/prep-sports/article/2865/

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  7. Lambert repeats 10-7 over Pope for Ship

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  8. Lambert Swan Song!May 19, 2012 at 10:12 PM

    Congratulations Lambert,Well done.

    Now for the record,all these Seniors were significant contributors in last years state final. I saw two underclassman play significant roles in this game tonight,Geran & Smith and they are Juniors and played with this group as Freshman. No middies,goalie,defenseman other than Seniors contributing of any significance in this final.
    Now that was not the case in last years final!

    Geran's a nice player,but who will get him the ball next year,and who else will a team have to pay attention to on Lambert?

    You don't magically gain the critical crunch time experience unless you go through delivering in critical moments. Just because their in practice & on the sidelines doesn't automatically make them special next year.

    That was a big part of this Lambert Senior group's history,they were thrown into the fire and learned & developed in critical moments in big games,due to the program's start up.
    Hat's off to those guys,and coaches good luck magically coming up with this experience next year.

    I do not see them competing for a title next year,and if they make the semi's and win a Area or region title,it will be a bigger coaching accomplishment than this year's feat!

    It's not the end of the world,but this was a special group that will take a few years to rebuild from. Your Champions & that's for next year! Hat's off to your team!

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  9. Pope dominated 1st 10 minutes. 2 shots from #14 Phillips = 2 goals. 2 or 3 more shots produced 2 more goals as the 1st quarter ended with Lambert up 4-2.

    2nd Q was evenly fought. #25 Wedella and #19 Frost each had a pair of goals as they went into halftime down 6-4. Popes goalie didn't have a very good 1st half.

    Lambert dominated X. They boxed out better and came up with 75%.

    Lambert cleared the ball with relative ease.#47 Geran for Lambert came up with big groundballs at midfield and Coach Wehman called some very timely time outs to preserve a few others. Pope struggled with clearing the ball. Their goalie threw more then a few away.

    Pope Middies battled Lambert Middies well and defenses were about even. Each team had unforced turnovers and other than the face-offs groundball game was close with an edge to Lambert.

    The differance was the goalie play. Lamberts goalie was solid all game and made good clearing passes up field. Popes goalie had a much better 2nd half but...

    Congrats. Lambert. Have to agree to a certain extent with Swan song. Very heavy senior contributors will be missed with graduating 15 or so. The replacements will be good but may not accomplish what these gusy have been able to the past 2 years.

    Well done Pope - Your graduating seniors can hold your heads high. Not sure you can replace Frost, Jensen, Maples who are special lacrosse players. You graduate 12 or so. Not sure if your replacements will get this far either.

    In a Dylan twang...The times they are a changin.

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  10. #19 for Pope was Brandon Toller with the 2 goals. Lambert cleared because Pope's attack didn't ride, at all. They were heels to the midline and Lambert walked up and passed.

    Pope was lost out there from a coaching perspective. I hope the principal and fat craft on the sidelines enjoyed what they have done with the lacrosse program.

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  11. Sorry - Toller #19 and Frost #16.
    Pope had a great group of seniors and I think you are right, the coaching was a factor. Left a timeout on the board, called a timeout when Maples had a fast break (He was pretty pissed about that one)
    The Pope ride was not good.
    #25 Wadella is a very good returning attackman and #4 Powers has a great shot but didn't seem to initiate anything. Didn't carry the ball much. Just wanted to shoot. #17 D-pole, DeFrank, is a solid D-pole. The youth program is good and I assume JV was decent b ut without coaching I wonder how they will do next year. It was funny seeing the Pope admins. standing on the sidelines. Funny becasue they were probably the ones to get rid of Coach Kelly which was a royal mistake.

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  12. The following is from the Forsyth News:
    May 22, 2012 By Jared Putnam

    SUWANEE — After building the longest winning streak in the nation over the last 15 months, Lambert’s boys lacrosse team wasn’t about to let it end here.

    The unbeaten, No. 1-ranked Longhorns earned their 42nd consecutive victory and repeated as the Class AAAA-A state champions on Saturday, defeating Pope 10-7 at The Horn in a rematch of last year’s title game.

    “It’s a great way for these seniors to go out,” Lambert director of lacrosse Rich Wehman said. “These guys, in their three years of playing here, have been 61-3, and we don’t play light competition.”

    Senior Cory Phillips turned in a first-period hat trick to give the Longhorns a lead they would not relinquish, and junior Matt Geran scored two of his three goals in the final 10 minutes of play to seal the win.

    The margin of victory was smaller than last season’s 14-7 victory over the Greyhounds and the postgame celebration a bit more subdued, but for players like Geran, the second time around was even sweeter.

    “It just kind of feels surreal,” said Geran, who also recorded an assist and picked up a game-high 10 ground balls. “Our seniors did it last year and I just kind of rode the bench, but this year I [played a big role] and it just means a lot more.”

    Pope (16-4-1) took a 1-0 lead less than two minutes into the game, but Phillips responded with two quick scores for the Longhorns (22-0).

    Geran and Peyton Smith (2 goals, 1 assist) added goals of their own in the period to give Lambert an early 4-1 lead, before Phillips tacked on another to bring the score to 5-2.

    “Everything was clicking, right place, right time,” Phillips said.

    “I just went all out in the first quarter those first couple of times to get that lead.”

    Pope cut the edge to 5-4 before Brady Wilson scored for Lambert with 6:17 remaining in the second period, marking the final goal of the first half.

    Smith added his second score less than three minutes into the third period, and Ted Ryan answered a goal by Pope’s Holland Frost late in the period to put the Longhorns ahead 8-5 going into the final period.

    Geran tallied his second goal at the 9:31 mark of the final period, recovering a ground ball and sending a low shot into the net to give the Longhorns their biggest lead of the game, 9-5.

    Pope had one final chance to rally after Zack Powers cut the lead to 9-6. Goalie Sam Rose stopped another shot by Geran with under four minutes to play, but Smith and Ryan blocked his attempt to send the ball down the field.

    Geran recovered the ball and scored Lambert’s 10th goal to ice the game.

    The Longhorns have scored at least 10 goals in 28 of their last 29 games dating back to the 2011 season.

    “Last year we scored a lot of goals in transition, and a lot of teams took us away from that this year,” Wehman said.

    “We had to play a little bit differently this year. I would say last year’s team was probably better in transition, and this team was probably a little bit more balanced.”

    Kyle O’Donnell won more than two-thirds of the faceoffs (15-7) in the game for the Longhorns, who also came out ahead of Pope in the battle for ground balls (43-32).

    Senior goalie Alec McNamara stopped eight shots.

    “It’s just crazy,” said senior Zack Price, who, along with teammate Braxton Roman, will join former Longhorn Adam Seal on the High Point University lacrosse team next season.

    “You don’t see teams repeat that much because they lose focus and just get hot-headed. For us to come back and win it again is even better, especially as a senior.”

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