CENTERVILLE — An offensive showdown in the first half gave way to a defensive struggle in the second half of a Division II state semifinal between the DeSales and Cincinnati Mariemont high school boys lacrosse teams May 29.
Unfortunately for the Stallions, they couldn’t catch up in an 8-6 loss at Centerville despite a strong second half from goalkeeper Connor Thune.
Thune made most of his 12 saves in the second half, but Mariemont pulled ahead for good with five unanswered goals in the second quarter, including three in 23 seconds.
“We started going away from hitting the corners of the cage to hitting the goalie and not making great shot selections,” DeSales coach Matt Triplet said. “We didn’t capitalize on transition opportunities like we should have. We clamped down defensively and limited their opportunities. Hats off to them. They were the better team.”
Tommy Clayton had three goals and two assists and Kole Perrine added two goals, both of which he scored in the game’s first 2 minutes, 19 seconds, as the Stallions finished 14-7 and fell short of their second consecutive state championship.
DeSales led 4-1 after the first quarter but fell behind for good when Mariemont’s Bates Gall, Seth Greene and Charlie Cowans scored three goals in a span of 23 seconds. The Warriors’ Wally Renie scored both of his team-leading two goals before halftime, the second coming with 3.1 seconds left to make it 7-5.
“That was a huge momentum boost going into the half. It was exactly what we needed,” Renie said. “(The second half) was stressful. I give all the credit to our defense for holding them to one goal. We thought it’d be a big offensive game for both teams, but you just have to roll with the punches.”
Clayton scored to make it 7-6 with 4:39 left in the third quarter, but Will Stutenroth scored an insurance goal for Mariemont with 4:02 remaining.
Goalie Hunter Riportella made eight saves for the Warriors, who improved to 19-3 and will play Chagrin Falls in the state final June 1 at Ohio Wesleyan.