Defending Md. champions Churchill open lacrosse season with 16-6 win
POTOMAC – The Winston Churchill high school boys lacrosse team started the defense of its Maryland title in top form, thanks in part to an eight-point performance by Alex Caraballo, to earn a dominating 16-6 victory at Damascus.
The Bulldogs’ victory features many new faces, a necessity after losing many players to last year’s senior-heavy roster.
“We’ve got a special group of guys here this year,” Churchill head coach Jeff Fritz said. “We’re trying to do what we did last year. It was great to be back on the field.”
Caraballo, a senior, scored five goals in the first half and three more in the second.
“It’s just great to be back out here with the boys,” said Caraballo. “It was a beautiful night out. Warm weather. Can’t ask for anything more.”
Reed Drummond also had a solid evening for Churchill with four goals. He and Caraballo are two of the Bulldogs’ 15 seniors looking to win another state title.
“We’ve been waiting for this since May 27th of last year,” said Drummond. “We’re really excited to be back here.”
“Just playing Churchill lacrosse,” said Caraballo. “Moving the ball quickly, playing unselfishly.”
“The path is paved with exactly what we need to do,” said Drummond. “Now we just need to execute.”
The Bulldogs opened the contest on a 6-0 run as Caraballo scored three goals. Other Churchill players who scored in the opening frame were Drummond, Xander Frey and Jack Thompson.
Collin Gallagher of Damascus scored late in the quarter to cut the deficit to 6-1.
Caraballo found the net twice in the second quarter, while Drummond also scored, as Churchill led 9-3 at halftime.
“They do it every day in practice,” said Fritz. “You could also say I’m not very surprised. They put the work in each and every day.”
The Bulldogs showed their dominance in the third quarter by adding six goals.
Caraballo scored three times in the quarter to finish with eight on the night, while Drummond added two more goals.
“I’m glad the scoreboard looked like that,” said Drummond. “Glad we filled it in like we did. My teammates did a great job.”
Senior goalie Conor Farrell had a stellar season debut with 10 total saves, including six in the first quarter.
Meanwhile, Tyler Mirani was the Swarmin Hornets’ leading scorer with three goals, while Brady Reese scored twice.
Despite the loss, Damascus head coach Rob Hokanson said the team is at a better starting point than last year.
“There was a lot of mistakes we made that are going to be things that will be easy for us to clean up and help us to improve going forward,” said Hokanson.
Feature photo by Mike Clark/The Sports Pulse