Powerhouses take center stage at lacrosse state finals

GHSA Lacrosse
GHSA Lacrosse

Credit: Cecil Copeland

Credit: Cecil Copeland

By Craig Sager II

The 2021 GHSA Lacrosse season will conclude this Saturday at Denmark High School with a four-game lineup—starting with a Class A-5A championship double-header and concluding with the girls and boys Class 6A-7A finals. Blessed Trinity and Starr’s Mill open the action in the girls Class A-5A championship match. These two teams have won the four past state titles in the sports lower classification—with Starr’s Mill snapping the Titans’ bid for a four-peat in 2019. Both teams also carry five-game winning streaks into the finals and have only dropped two matches apiece this season—all of which occurred against Class 7A opponents. Blessed Trinity dispatched McIntosh and Walker by a combined 37-6 before its 14-8 win over Westminster in the semis. As for Starr’s Mill, the Panthers advanced past Stratford Academy (16-0), Fellowship Christian (20-12), Wesleyan (16-10) before a thrilling 12-11 semifinal win over Northview.

Blessed Trinity is also represented in the boys Class A-5A championship where the undefeated Titans (24-0) will take on Pace Academy (17-2) for the first time this season. The Blessed Trinity boys won their first-ever state title in 2018 and Pace Academy will be playing to win its first-ever crown. The Titans are coming off their narrowest victory of the season—a 10-9 win over Westminster. As for Pace Academy, the Knights also escaped a thriller in the semifinals with a massive 8-7 road win over top-seeded Greater Atlanta Christian.

In the girls Class 6A-7A finals, No. 1 ranked Milton and No. 2 ranked West Forsyth will square off in a rematch of Milton’s 10-9 win back on Feb. 23. Milton enters the match with 20-straight victories and West Forsyth carries a 17-game win streak into the finals. Additionally, Milton is currently the No. 3 ranked team in the MaxPreps National poll and West Forsyth sits at No. 8—making this one of the top championship matchups in the nation. Milton is very familiar with the championship limelight and has won state titles in 13 of the 15 previous seasons that the GHSA has offered the sport. West Forsyth will look to do what only Chattahoochee (2009) and Walton (2016) have been able to do since 2005 and deny the Eagles the state crown.

Saturday’s grand finale will pair No. 1 ranked Lambert against a Centennial team that stunned Allatoona 7-6 in double-overtime on Wednesday to reach the boys Class 6A-7A finals. Lambert carries a 19-game winning streak and has showcased its defensive fortitude throughout its playoff run—limiting its four opponents to just five goals per game. This will be the first meeting between Lambert and Centennial this season and it will also be the only finals matchup that features two programs that have previously won state titles. Lambert has four all-time state titles to its name—including its flawless 22-0 championship run in 2018. Centennial reached the podium for the first and only time in its program’s history in 2013.

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