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Late run lifts Lake Norman past Middle Creek in 4A lacrosse finale

May 21, 2018

Lake Norman used a late fourth quarter rally to take down Middle Creek, 13-11, and claim the NC High School Athletic Association boys lacrosse state championship on Saturday afternoon.

“This is better than the other three times I have been here,” Lake Norman head coach James Brugger said. “It’s pretty awesome.”

Lake Norman started the scoring fast, finding the back of the net twice in the first two minutes, but Middle Creek responded with a 4-0 run with two goals by James Tolentino, while Ben Lever and Jake Caputo each added one. The Wildcats’ Matt Elder scored right before the end of the first quarter to make it 4-3 after 12 minutes of play.

Scoring slowed down in the second quarter. Mitchell Cody tied it for the Wildcats, but the Mustangs responded with goals by Owen Caputo and James Slaight to take a two-goal lead. Right before halftime Drew Elder found the back of the net to cut the deficit to one.

The game went back and forth in the second half.

Tucker Goodelle scored early for the Wildcats and Blake Lecky followed with a goal of his own on the next possession. Owen Caputo answered the Lake Norman run with a goal and then a no-look assist to Jack Slaight. The Wildcats tied it up, but Torentino answered with his third goal of the game to give the Mustangs a 9-8 lead after three quarters of play.

Each team scored early in the fourth quarter. Cody added a goal for the Wildcats to tie the game, but Slaight answered for the Mustangs to make it 10-9.

Lake Norman took over from there. The Wildcats scored four unanswered goals by Lecky, Cody, Drew Elder and Matt Elder to take command of the game.

“I told them the levy was going to break, we were shooting, we just weren’t scoring, so we knew eventually something was gonna give,” Brugger said.

Drew Elder claimed most valuable player honors with three goals and 19-of-25 faceoffs won.

“We are happy to have him back at Lake Norman, we missed him for a year,” Brugger said.

Lake Norman finished the season 22-2 and Middle Creek ends with only one loss and a 21-1 overall record.