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1A/2A State Championship - Liberty vs Vashon

The Vashon Vultures prove to have the better defense over the Liberty Patriots in their 4-3 championship victory at Starfire Complex. Story by Michael Thornbloom. Photos courtesy of SoundLacrosse.com

Not a lot happened offensively for either team other than Liberty’s two early goals in the first quarter. Both teams went scoreless for the next 27 minutes of the game after the Patriots second goal with both defenses putting on a show by forcing turnover after turnover. Vashon midfielder Paris Brown (2g, 6gb) was the first to break this trend when he put together two crucial goals within the final minute of the third quarter. This put the Vultures in a tied game heading into the final quarter as both defenses were playing each other tough and every goal became increasingly important with every passing minute.

The momentum was clearly in Vashon’s favor leading into the fourth quarter with attackman Jake Carmen (1g, 1a) and attackman Yury Coucoules (1g, 1a) assisting each other in their own goals to bring them to a 4-2 lead. In any other game this lead would not be very intimidating but with 10 minutes left of play and the way these defenses were working each other all over the field, the two goals appeared unreachable for Liberty. The Patriots pushed on offense as much as they could but the Vulture remained strong on defense only allowing one more goal in the final minute of the game to bring it to a 4-3 final, Vultures stand on top as champions.

“Our defense has played strong all season long,” said Vashon head coach Michael McMillan. “we probably have the best goalie in the state at this point, we have the best set of defensive players in the state, we had a tough time on offense but we figured it out in the end and scored goals and that’s all that matters.”

McMillan couldn’t speak enough on how proud he was of his boys that day. He’s been coaching that senior class since they were in the fifth grade making for a strong connection that breeds championship teams. He was very clear that his job is just to teach these guys and they deserve the credit for the work they put out on the field that season. “They’re easily the best team I’ve ever coached.” said McMillan.

“I know exactly what they want to do and this was everything for them this season. It has nothing to do with me, it has to do with those guys.” Regardless of where the credit lies, this club put on a phenomenal season and all their hard work paid off deservedly so. McMillan wasn’t happy earlier in this season to not get a top five ranking in the preseason preview but he proved to everyone that his team was clearly better than any media ranking could show.

This is what great sports are made of, proving the doubters wrong, playing your game and winning championships. Congratulations Vultures, you can hang your hat on this season and remember 2019 as your year, no one can take that away from you.

Story by Michael Thornbloom.

Photos courtesy of SoundLacrosse.com