Cox overwhelms First Colonial to win first Class 5 Region A boys lacrosse championship
The Cox boys lacrosse team needed its average effort to defeat First Colonial on Friday night and win the Class 5 Region A Tournament crown.
In other words, the Falcons won by 13 goals, slamming the Patriots 17-4.
For Cox, the game was indicative of its highly successful season. The win raised the Falcons’ record to 14-1, and Cox has outscored opponents 260-56, which roughly translates to an average score of 17-4.
Beach District teams are playing their first postseason as a Virginia High School League sanctioned varsity sport. Before this season, Beach teams played at the club level.
On Friday, 11 players scored for Cox, which was led by Aidan Bruehl’s four goals and two assists. Ben Savage netted a hat trick and assist, and midfielder Bryce Pendergast contributed two goals and a team-high four assists. With the clock in running mode for the final quarter and a half, co-head coaches Joe Zarpolo and Chris Faries were free to substitute at will, creating a unique chance for the Falcons to test younger players.
Yet their team has been built from the ground up, according to Faries.
“We grew a lot this year,” quipped Faries, dripping wet from the requisite Gatorade bath which followed the trophy presentation. “Of the 30 guys on our team, 10 were JV last year, including half of the defensive core.”
Zarpolo, who avoided the drenching, spoke of sticking to his team’s game plan.
“We figured that if we could control the time of possession and get all of the ground balls, that we would have a shot of winning. We did that.”
Assistant coach Will Oakley, a former assistant at the University of Louisville, spoke of his team’s outstanding goaltender, Connor Myers.
“He gets his best practice by seeing good shots in practice – from our offense.” The work has paid off, with Myers notching six shutouts this season.
Cox senior midfielder Joe Jones believes that his team has not peaked but will need to improve to advance deep in next week’s Class 5 state tournament bracket.
“We have to take it one game at a time, because we will be seeing competition that we have not seen,” said Jones. “We have a lot of work to do.”
It wasn’t apparent in the first half as the Falcons stormed to an 11-2 halftime lead, outscoring First Colonial 5-0 in the second quarter. As the score reached 15-3midway through the third quarter, a 12-goal cushion, the clock went into running mode.
Cox will open state tournament play with a matchup against the Region C No. 2 seed, Douglas Freeman, next weekend. First Colonial (9-8) also has a state tournament berth.