CARY, NC – The Weddington Warriors fell behind Chapel Hill in the opening two minutes of the 1A/2A/3A Men’s Lacrosse Championship, but the Warriors ripped off 10 unanswered goals on their way to a 16-5 victory over Chapel Hill and the Warriors third consecutive State Championship. James Shipley led the way for Weddington with four goals and three assists on his way to being named the Most Valuable Player in the game.
Chapel Hill drew first blood in the opening quarter as Ben Gleiter slipped one past the keeper just 1:11 into the game to put the Tigers up 1-0. The momentum was short-lived as the two-time defending champions responded with just 1:36 later to even the score with James Shipley’s first goal of the night. Weddington took the lead with 7:24 remaining in the first quarter, as James Shipley again found the back of the net to put the Warriors ahead for good.
Weddington tacked on six more goals in the first quarter, with Will Shipley scoring twice, James Shipley adding his third, and Eamon Murphy, Jared Papake and Chase Jones all getting in on the action. Anthony Todaro ripped one past the keeper to open the scoring in the second, just twelve seconds into the quarter. Will Shipley added the final goal of the first half with 4:04 to play, putting the Warriors up 10-1 at the intermission.
Chapel Hill tightened things up in the third quarter, as the Tigers outscored the Warriors 3-2 in the third quarter. Jack Grubbs scored on a nice feed from Gleiter with 8:38 to go in the third. After the fourth goal of the night for James Shipley, Chapel Hill responded with a pair of goals, one by Austin Cicale from Michael McLaughlin and the other unassisted by Grubbs, trimming the third quarter deficit to 12-4 heading into the final quarter.
The Warriors proved to be too much in the final frame, as Todaro added a pair of goals and Will McKeehan and Chazton Jordan both got in on the scoring. Chapel Hill’s lone goal of the period came as Braxton West cut towards the crease and Gleiter hit him with a beautiful behind the back feed to set up the Tigers’ lone goal of the fourth.
Chapel Hill finished the season 16-4 on the year. The Tigers were 5-1 in their conference and made it to the State Championship Match for the first time in program history.
Weddington completed the year 16-1, with a perfect 5-0 record in conference play. The Warriors claimed their third straight NCHSAA State Championship, and third all-time, maintaining their perfect mark in NCHSAA State Championship Matches.