2022.05.17 Boys Lacrosse: Potomac District Semifinal, Independence @ Briar Woods

Brambleton, VA (May 17, 2022) - Things are heating up all over Loudoun County as spring sports move into district and regional postseason tournaments.

This game featured the second seeded and home-standing Briar Woods Falcons against the third seeded Independence Tigers. Both teams had been on good rolls to end the season, and they were just a game apart in the standings. The game that separated the two teams? An April 26 11-10 win for the Falcons over the Tigers, their only meeting of the season.

Chas Sumser Photography was there to capture the action and emotion and posted a gallery of images from the game.

In the first minute of the game, Independence midfielder Bailey De Luise picked up a loose ball just beyond midfield and raced upfield to score first, and when Michael Hagenlock scored five minutes later, the Tigers had an unexpectedly quick 2-0 lead. They held that advantage until Ben Pearsall scored for the Falcons to make it 2-1 near the end of the first quarter. The visitors had the possession advantage for the period, but Briar Woods goalie Scott Lufkin kept the Tigers from doing any further damage.

Tate Young tied the score four minutes into the second quarter, and the rest of the period was back and forth with the two teams trading goals for a 4-4 tie at halftime. Young scored again in the closing seconds, but the Falcons had yet to take the lead.

That all changed to start the third period as the Falcons reeled off three unanswered goals and five of the first six of the quarter. With a 9-5 lead, it began to look like Briar was on its way to the district final. But the Tigers scored three straight to end the quarter trailing by just one goal, 9-8.

With five minutes left to play, the Falcons had held off Independence and extended their lead to 12-10. But the Tigers fought back and tied the game again at 12-12 only to have Luke Romano score to give the Falcons the lead, 13-12, with just two minutes left. With time running out, the Tigers' Alexander Hempstead put one in to tie the game and send it to overtime, 13-13.

All game long, Independence attacker Braden Lesando had been circling the net looking for chances to dart in with his patented scoop shots. He had already scored three times, and he did it again in the second minute of overtime to send his team to the championship matchup with Riverside.

Final Score: Independence 14 - Briar Woods 13 

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