Boys Lacrosse: Dublin Jerome hangs on to beat Upper Arlington for Division I state title

Jarrod Ulrey
ThisWeek group
Dublin Jerome's Marek Tzagournis, left, and Luke McLoughlin, right, celebrate with teammates after a 12-11 victory over Upper Arlington in the Division I state final June 5 at Ohio Wesleyan.

A five-goal lead early in the second half proved difficult for the Dublin Jerome boys lacrosse team to hold on to during the Division I state championship game June 5 against Upper Arlington at Ohio Wesleyan. 

The Celtics, though, found a way to close it out for a 12-11 victory that gave them their fourth championship. The others came before the sport was sanctioned by the OHSAA in 2017, and their last time in the state tournament was in 2014. 

Carter Barco scored the winning goal with 28.1 seconds to go for Jerome, which avenged a 12-4 loss to the Golden Bears on May 8 and finished 22-2. UA finished 21-2. 

“The defender took a couple steps back and I just put it on the right side of the goal with an overhand rip,” Barco said. “After that I was worried about finishing this game off because there was still 28 seconds on the clock.

“This means the absolute world to me. We’ve been dreaming about winning the state championship and to make that dream come true feels amazing.” 

Chris Mazzaferri (5) and Tanner Gillie console each other while Leo Caine (19) watches Dublin Jerome accept its championship medals and trophy following Upper Arlington's 12-11 loss to the Celtics in the Division I state final June 5 at Ohio Wesleyan.

Jerome took an 8-3 lead on a goal by Marek Tzagournis with 6:48 to go in the third quarter before the Bears got one goal apiece from Marco Landolfi, Chris Mazzaferri and Sam Burns to cut it to 8-6. 

Jerome’s Jackson Byrne made it 9-6 with 10:15 remaining, but the Bears rallied to tie it at 10 and took an 11-10 lead on a goal by Mazzaferri with 3:08 remaining. 

Jerome tied it at 11 with 2:38 to play on a goal by Byrne. 

“Our seniors made plays and put the ball back of the net,” Celtics coach Andy Asmo said. “Our goalie (Brady White) made two big saves in the fourth quarter when we needed them and we were able to achieve our goal.” 

Barco had three goals and three assists, Byrne had three goals and Tzagournis added two goals and three assists, while White finished with 10 saves. 

Burns scored five goals and Landolfi added three to lead the Bears. 

“It was really about possessing the ball,” Bears coach Kyle Olson said. “We knew we could score if we had the ball. We struggled clearing. They came out and played very hard and we were a little (stunned) at the beginning. We fought hard to get back in it, but I think we kind of ran out of gas. 

“It was one of those days where anything that could go wrong went wrong.”

julrey@thisweeknews.com 

@UlreyThisWeek