WOOSTER — The Dublin Coffman High School boys lacrosse team is headed to the Division I state championship game for the first time after avenging a painful loss from a year ago.
The Shamrocks controlled play from the outset and cruised to a 15-8 victory over Cleveland St. Ignatius in a state semifinal May 28 at Wooster.
Coffman, which had lost to the Wildcats 16-15 in overtime in a state semifinal last year on the same field, improved to 21-1 and will play defending state champion Cincinnati St. Xavier for the title at 7 p.m. June 1 at Ohio Wesleyan.
St. Ignatius, which had lost in the state final the past two seasons, finished 18-5.
“We knew if we had more possessions than this team that we were going to beat them, and (faceoff midfielder) Wyatt (Bartlett) took care of business and got it done,” midfielder Evan James said. “Our defense stepped up at the beginning of the game and our offense did what we’ve been doing all year.”
James also played a major role in the victory, scoring eight goals and recording one assist.
The game started a few minutes early because of impending bad weather, and Coffman scored twice in the game’s first three minutes before a weather delay occurred with 7 minutes, 33 seconds left in the first period.
The delay didn’t slow down the Shamrocks when play resumed, however, as they got three consecutive goals from James in the final two minutes of the first quarter to open a 6-2 lead.
St. Ignatius scored with 7:35 left in the second period to cut its deficit to 6-3, but the Shamrocks responded with a goal by Ethan Tyack with 2:48 remaining in the period and a goal by Peter Tyack off a pass from James with 3.1 seconds left in the first half to take an 8-3 lead into halftime.
Tyack finished with three goals for Coffman, which led by as many as 10 goals in the final period.
“It was the team positivity (that led us),” Bartlett said. “Everyone was backing each other up and it was the overall environment. We’re all brothers.”
Cincinnati St. Xavier 9, Upper Arlington 8 (OT)
CENTERVILLE — With far more on the line May 28 than the first time UA and St. Xavier met this season, Golden Bears coach Kyle Olson felt his team stuck with the game plan even when shots were barely offline in a Division I state semifinal at Centerville.
UA outshot the Bombers 30-17 and twice came from behind to tie the game, but St. Xavier’s Noah Reidy scored the game-winning goal 1:16 into overtime.
“It was definitely a weird game. We outshot them almost 2-to-1 and couldn’t put enough of them on net,” Olson said. “I don’t know if it was an off night or what. We played hard and guys stepped up at key times, but again, our season ended too soon.”
Anthony Pardi’s three goals led UA, which finished 16-6 and was seeking its first state final appearance since 2016. The Bears also lost to St. Xavier 7-6 on May 10 in the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament.
UA trailed 6-4 after three quarters and 8-7 with 2:23 left before it was able to take time off the clock and Pardi passed to Jack Mason, who scored from point-blank range to tie the game with 46.3 seconds left.
Luke Vrsansky, the only freshman on St. Xavier’s roster, had five goals to lead the Bombers, who will try to win their second consecutive state championship when they take on Coffman in the state final. Andrew Green added three goals.
St. Xavier won the faceoff in overtime and immediately called timeout to draw up a play posting Reidy in front of the UA net. It did not work the first time, but did the second.
“We had to start it up again and come back and Andrew fed the ball to the middle. I was right there to catch it and shoot it,” Reidy said. “It was a very similar game to the first time we played them. It’s great playing these tough teams.”