By Craig Sager II
Roswell took a 9-3 halftime lead before answering Pope’s third quarter rally and clinching back-to-back Class AAAAAA state titles with a 12-9 victory. No. 1 seed Roswell jumped to a 5-0 lead before visiting Pope found the net with two late first quarter goals to make it 5-2.
“We just worked on placing our shots because we knew they [Pope] had a fantastic goalie,” explained Roswell head coach Alex Chrzanowski. “Not letting our passes fall early and not allowing their goalie to get hot early really helped us.”
Roswell senior Preston Tippett netted a hat-trick in the first half and scored two of Pope’s three second half goals to finish with a team-high five goals. Pope tightened up its defense in the third quarter and Parker LaVelle began to spark the offense and provide the Greyhounds with much-needed goals. LaVelle finished with three goals in the third quarter and after scores by Tyler Borko and Josh Wells, the Greyhounds cut the deficit to 10-8 and outscored Roswell 5-1 in the period.
In the fourth quarter, the teams went scoreless for the first 8:27 before Roswell’s Tanner Schneider found the net to make it an 11-8 Hornets’ lead. Tippett added his fifth goal just 27 seconds later before Pope got on the board a final time with a Wells goal.
“This is a great community for lacrosse and we have a dynasty going,” said Chrzanowski as the fans stormed the field, “And we are looking to keep growing from these back-to-back titles.”
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