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4A State Championship - Skyline vs Eastlake

The Eastlake Wolves battle through a 4-goal deficit with seven unanswered goals in the third quarter to beat their rivals, the Skyline Spartans, in a 13-12 epic at Starfire Complex. Story by Michael Thornbloom. Photos courtesy of SoundLacrosse.com

The first quarter started off all wrong for the Eastlake Wolves after giving up an open net goal to Skyline and another came from a long pass to junior attackman Sam Sala for a one-on-one goal making it 3-1 with a minute left. Eastlake was able to find one more goal in the final seconds making it 3-2 as they appeared to be unwavering amidst adversity and fully intending to keep themselves in this game. They continued to go blow for blow as they both put up three goals in the second quarter giving Skyline the 6-5 lead heading into the final half.

Once the third quarter started it was looking like Skyline was going to run away with it after senior midfielder Kellen Hoke (3g) pulled a hat-trick in the first 2 minutes of the half to put their lead at four. Eastlake kept their composure and put up seven unanswered goals against Skyline effectively taking the lead and control over this game sending it to the final quarter at 12-9. This only made the game more intense as Skyline was trying to crawl their way back into this game as they were able close the gap to a one-goal game. Eastlake remained tough in the final minutes as they were able to hold onto their lead long enough to close out the game and secure their second championship in a row with a 13-12 victory over the Skyline Spartans.

Eastlake senior attackman Nate Sutter (3g), sophomore midfielder Gavin Wallace (3g, 2a) and sophomore attackman Simon Breecher (3g, 2a) put up a huge game in this year’s 4A Championship game. Five of those goals were apart of their 7-goal run that put them ahead of Skyline and in position to take this game away from the Spartans.

The Wolves ability to overcome adversity in this game has been the story of their season after losing senior goalie Carter Randal to a knee injury at the start of the year. Sophomore goalie Isaac Morse (0.416%sv) stepped up and has taken over the starting position in the cage. He had a rough game in this one with only 5 saves but like a pack of wolves, when one goes down the pack unites to pick up the other and this greatly attributed to their second championship victory.

“It just shows that he has the team around him to support him and that he knows that he can make some mistakes.” said head coach Chris O’Dougherty. “Isaac, we’re going to lean on him and he has a great group of defenders in front of him. They’re going to be there for the rest of his career so I just want to give him the best confidence, and move forward with Isaac and build around him.” O’Dougherty is completely happy with the overall direction of his team and notices that the character of this program is growing amidst the adversity and obstacles his team continues to face each year.

With championship number two in the books for the Eastlake Wolves, O’Dougherty only needs one more to complete the Championship hat-trick he has been hunting for. The competition continues to grow in the 4A Division with the Curtis Vikings showing serious growth as well as Skyline continuing to be tough championship contenders. Regardless of how tough the road gets for O’Dougherty and his squad, he still very much likes his chances of building a dynasty.

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