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Saturday, June 15, 2024

High School Lacrosse: Saint John Paul Holds on for a Thrilling 10-8 District Championship Victory Against Oxbridge

The Eagles earned Saint John Paul II Academy their first varsity lacrosse district championship in program history.


Saint John Paul II Academy Lacrosse

SJPII Academy Varsity Lacrosse Players Celebrate District Championship Win

Saint John Paul earned the 1-seed in their district by outscoring Kings Academy 17-7 on Wednesday in West Palm Beach. Following that win, the Eagles secured home field advantage over the ThunderWolves, which set up a nail-biting district championship game with the Eagles emerging victorious.

Despite two lightning delays and the unforgiving skies of a storm that left South Florida underwater, a battle was brewing in the eastern part of Boca Raton; a battle that Coaches Andrew and Michael Bolger have been waiting to end in their favor since they began coaching at SJP over 20 years ago. Lacrosse fans packed the stands despite the weather, and the two teams did not disappoint.

A first minute alley dodge by Oxbridge's Junior Attacker, Christopher Lawrence, left the Eagles trailing after the first horn. The crowd went wild! In the stands and on the sidelines, the energy was intense from that moment on.

The Eagles began their assault three minutes into the game when Senior Captain Kyle Davis found Junior Attacker and Eagles' leading scorer, Michael Evans, who scored a step-down shot that ignited the Eagles bench and stands alike.

Minutes later, the Eagles took the lead on a fast break goal scored by Senior Attacker, Ryan Ahern. As the Eagles rallied, Davis found Sophomore Midfielder Travis Cheristin in traffic, who fired a low shot to increase the Eagles' lead.

A few minutes later, Davis found Ahern at the doorstep with a cross-crease feed, resulting in Ahern's second goal of the game.

The Eagles defense, led by Senior Captain, Kevin Doyle, kept the ThunderWolves quiet on the offensive side through the second quarter. As halftime approached, Jackson Hume, the Eagles' goalie, made clutch saves to keep the Eagles ahead. Senior Captain, Attacker, Charlie Bublitz, pinged the top left corner off a skip pass from Junior Attacker, Morgan McMeekin, as the first half was winding down.

In the closing minutes of the half, Matthew Evans, a Junior Midfielder, made his presence known with a right-side alley dodge that got him into the middle of the field where he fired a left-handed shot that found the bottom right corner of the cage. One minute later, Matthew Evans scored top left following a skip pass from Ahern.

Ahern found a matchup behind the cage, dodging to eventually find Cheristin cutting his way to the doorstep as Cheristin buried it for his second goal.

The Eagles held a comfortable lead at the half, 8-3. But the ThunderWolves rallied in the third quarter, bringing the game within two points and stalling the Eagles' offense for 12 straight minutes. Sophomore Joseph Ferlanti and Freshman Robert Frank fought for ground balls in the thick mud all night, competing against a talented Oxbridge face-off athlete and LSMs.

With the score 8-7, Eagles Junior Defenseman Graham McCleneghen shut down an Oxbridge dodger with 5 minutes left on the clock. This created the opportunity for Matthew Evans to swipe a clutch ground ball in front of his own crease. In a full-out sprint, Evans carried the ball coast-to-coast and found the top left corner of the net, drawing a foul in the process. With his fourth goal, a stinger from the slot off of a skip pass from Ahern, Matthew Evans earned himself the MaxPreps Player of the Game award. It was a statement victory for the Eagles as they won 10-8 to close out the evening.

As the Eagles enter the regional tournament this week, they have a record of 12-4 for the season. Saint John Paul's strength of schedule of 12.9 allowed the Eagles to compete with talented teams throughout the state during the season. A team's preparation for championship level competition is greatly enhanced by hard fought battles, and the Saint John Paul II Academy Eagles just proved that iron sharpens iron.

Contact Information:
Andrew Bolger
Head Coach
[email protected]
561-314-2100


Original Source: High School Lacrosse: Saint John Paul Holds on for a Thrilling 10-8 District Championship Victory Against Oxbridge
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