PROSPER — The Prosper High School lacrosse team booked their trip to the 2018 State Championship tournament after securing wins in three games over the course of the week.
The Eagles’ explosive postseason run has been fueled largely in part by the extensive winning streak that has spanned most of the season. As the number one seed in the North District, Prosper entered the playoffs on a twelve-game winning streak, and were eager to carry that momentum into game number one against local Prestonwood Christian Academy on May 1.
“The atmosphere was electric,” head lacrosse coach John Marano said. “It was the first time we had the Prosper band come out and play during the game.”
The buzzing environment only fueled the Eagles quest for the title. Offensively, they were merciless on the attack, tacking on sixteen goals during the game — most of which were scored in transition play. Junior Cole Schmitt was on fire for the offense, scoring half of the team’s goals and assisting twice. Following the match, he was named Marano’s Player of the Game.
While the offense lit up the scoreboard, the Prosper defense was busy keeping Prestonwood from countering.
In the end, the Eagles took a commanding 16-2 win over their opponents and readied for game number two on Saturday, May 5.
In preparing for the super regionals, Prosper was again the number one seed heading into the match against Houston foe Magnolia, who was listed as the fourth seed coming out of their region.
Rankings aside, the Eagles came out blazing from the opening faceoff, taking a commanding lead over Magnolia and held nothing back offensively. Nine different players in green found the back of the net, while the defense once again limited the opponent to just one goal for the entire game. Magnolia could only muster 22 shots in the four periods.
From the goalie’s perspective, junior Lee Rowden and freshman Parker Haven split time in the net, both registering great numbers and combining for 14 total saves (Rowden - 12, Haven - 2). Additionally, junior Jack Delano, who is in charge of face-offs, went 11-for-12 (92%) in the circle. Prosper went on to defeat Magnolia 16-1.
Of course, all playoff runs are not without their challenges, and the Eagles met their toughest competition of the postseason when they matched up against Regents the following day, May 6.
As the number two seed out of the Austin area, Regents came ready to play in the battle for a state berth. Plagued with fatigue from the previous night’s game, the Eagles uncharacteristically came out sluggish against a fully-prepared Regents team. Despite scoring the first goal, courtesy of junior Zane Williams, the Regents quickly responded with five unanswered goals to leave the Eagles stunned in unfamiliar territory.
Freshman Sam Osborne helped stop the bleeding moments before halftime, scoring for the Eagles to lessen the blow of the Regent attack. Prosper would head into the break trailing 5-2.
After a hearty pep-talk from Marano and the rest of the coaching staff, the boys took to the field with new energy. They quickly surged into a two-goal scoring run, as Cole Schmitt again came to the rescue by putting two past the Regents goalie.
Now within just one, the Eagles had all the momentum. Schmitt added goal number three for the tie, and Prosper was playing with confidence. The ride came to a close, however, when Regents regained the lead after a spectacular save by Rowden in goal. Despite being behind yet again, the Eagles were persistent.
“We never gave up,” Marano said. “Jack Delano managed to win crucial faceoffs down the stretch, which gave us critical offensive possessions.”
Those possessions paid of big time as Zane Williams scored his second of the match to re-tie. With a trip to state on the line, Prosper found a way.
Senior Cole Wyles was the hero, slicing the dagger of a goal past the Regents goalie with just minutes remaining in the game.
“Jack won another face-off, and we remained calm and played with composure,” Marano said about the game-winning drive. “Tyler Trampas hit Wyles cutting across the middle for the game-winning goal… It was a great team win.”
Marano said he awarded the entire defensive unit as the “Players of the Game” for their resiliency on the field.
“Luke Teigen, Cabe Parham, Carson Fearin, Hunter Sheffield and Lee Rowden shut Regent down. I’m so proud of the boys, facing adversity and battling back. They never lost their composure and never gave up,” he said.
Turning their attention to the big dance, the Eagles have a week to prepare for the state semifinals. Favored as the number one seed for the fourth consecutive game, Prosper will take on Austin Westlake on Saturday, May 12 for a chance to play for the championship. If they win, they will play the winner of Highland Park (Dallas) and Klein (Houston) the following Sunday, May 13.