2023.06.10 Girls Lacrosse: Class 4 Championship, Western Albemarle @ Dominion

Spotsylvania, VA (June 10, 2023) - The Dominion Titans and the Western Albemarle Warriors entered this game powered by unbeaten regular and playoff seasons. But the most important stat of the day was that they had played each other three times before--once in each of the Class 4 state championships played since 2019.

To say that the Western Albemarle program had something to prove might just be an understatement. Making it all the way to state final three times in a row is accomplishment enough, but Dominion came out the winner all three times and that had to serve as a major incentive for the Warriors. Most recent was Dominion's dominating performance in the 2022 title match.

The Titans had every right to be confident, and many of their team leaders had played for the last two champions. But they surely knew that it would not be easy to win a fourth straight against their familiar foe.

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

And the Warriors came out absolutely red hot behind attackers Maggie Craytor and McLean Stokes. Craytor's five first half goals propelled her team to a 7-2 lead before Dominion really got going. 

At the same time, the Western Albemarle defense in front of Warrior keeper Kennedy Buntrock frustrated the normally potent, quick-scoring Titan offense accustomed to jumping out in front and then pouring it on--not battling from behind.

But Ava Field, Brooke Frishman, and Lindsey Wright had a different result in mind. Scoring four straight times in the final five minutes of the half, the trio brought Dominion within a single goal, 7-6. During the scoring stretch, Dominion made a key defensive decision to face-guard Craytor, effectively thwarting her scoring potential while keeper Caelan Jones and the rest of the Titan defense were also at their best. But with time running out Craytor netted her final goal of the period, extending the Western Albemarle halftime lead to 8-6.

When Frishman scored in the first minute of the second half, Dominion trailed by one goal again, 8-7, and it looked like the momentum had fully shifted the Titans' way. But in the most critical three minutes of the game, the Warriors roared back with three straight goals to take an 11-7 lead.

For the remainder of the second half, Dominion tried with everything they had to close the gap, but each time they scored Western Albemarle answered including two goals from Katie Alhusen in the final minutes. But a sensational final worthy of two champions could crown only one. And this time, it was Western Albemarle.

Final Score: Western Albemarle 14 - Dominion 11

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