SAN FRANCISCO — After four prior losses to St. Ignatius, including a gut-wrenching defeat at the buzzer in the WCAL championship game, the Sacred Heart Prep boys lacrosse team ensured that the fifth and final meeting would be nothing like the previous ones.
Sacred Heart Prep (17-4) overcame a two-goal deficit to take a halftime lead, then closed the inaugural CCS boys lacrosse championship game on a 10-1 run for a convincing 17-8 victory. Eric Bollar led the way with six goals in the win.
“A lot of my goals were me cutting and my teammates looking for me,” said Bollar, who scored twice in the third and three more times in the fourth. “It’s really easy to play when you’ve got the ball moving around on offense. Everyone was being really unselfish and we were running our sets well.”
Bollar’s second goal, coming off one of Max Sloat’s three assists with 8:26 left in the third, gave the second-seeded Gators the lead for good. St. Ignatius (17-1) had evened the score up just over a minute earlier as Luke Williams netted his second goal of the game, but the Gators scored the final five goals of the third.
Sloat scored 16 seconds after Bollar, Ian Dykes scored 51 seconds after that and Bollar connected again four minutes later. Billy Barnds, who matched Sloat with three goals and three assists, scored with five seconds left in the quarter to give the Gators a commanding 12-8 lead after three.
“At the start, they got a few lucky bounces that went right to them,” SHP defender Paul Barton said. “We knew that if we wanted to win this game, our defense was going to have to shut down their offense. Every time we’ve seen them, we’ve gotten better.”
Barton, the son of former 49ers lineman Harris Barton and a commit to play lacrosse at North Carolina, his father’s alma mater, was an instrumental leader of a defensive effort that was nearly spotless after the midpoint of the second quarter.
“Our goalie played out of his mind,” Barton said of George Northup, who made nine saves. “He was making it easy to play defense. If you can force a 15-yard shot, you know he’s going to eat it up and force a fastbreak the other way.”
Those fastbreaks helped set up three more Bollar goals in the fourth, the first coming 32 seconds into the final quarter to put the visitors up by five. After Barnds and SI’s Jackson Kane traded goals, Bollar scored twice more in a 55-second span to seal the win, with the final goal coming on a man up situation.
SHP found the net four times while enjoying a man advantage, including twice in the final minutes of the second quarter. The top-seeded Wildcats scored four of the first five goals in the second, taking a 6-4 lead when William Miller potted his second of the game, but Kai Lockton scored twice in a minute, including once with a man up, to tie the game before another penalty set up Sloat’s second goal to put the Gators ahead going into the break. In addition to his two quick goals, Locton delivered four assists in the game.
“We finished with our best game, offensively, defensively, in the middle of the field,” SHP head coach Chris Rotelli said. “Half of our team was injured for the first two months of the season. Our starting goalie didn’t play until late in the year because he broke his thumb twice. This team has just been through a lot. The big difference for us today was that we were fully healthy. Our focus was to try to get better every day and finish with our best game, and we truly did.”
Kane, Miller and Luke Williams each had two goals to lead SI, with Kane also dishing out three assists.