Soccer and lacrosse teams claim state titles
By Eric Ormseth, Reporter and Eleanor Yarkin, Reporter
Despite Vashon’s small population compared to its competitors, two Island sports teams have proven to be fierce competition, dominating throughout the spring season. This year, the boys soccer team and the boys lacrosse team won state championships.
For the first time in their history, the high school’s boys soccer team claimed the 1A State Championship title after a victorious game on May 25. The team played against Winlock/Toledo United and won with a score of 3-1.
“It’s unbelievable,” head coach Benjamin Bork said. “Sometimes I still can’t believe it happened. It is such a high bar to reach, and we [reached it].”
After finishing first in both the Nisqually league and district play last year, the team expected to do well. Leading up to the final game, the team was focused and confident.
“We couldn’t be scared,” junior Jeremiah Bogaard said. “We had control of the game.”
During the game, the team played well, with senior Tommy Delargy scoring the first goal at the 24th minute. The team kept up their aggressive play for the remainder of the match.
“The final game was unbelievable because we dominated,” Bork said. “I was just so happy it wasn’t going to be a close nail-biter. The anticipation of the clock running down was in slow motion, and our players just [kept] playing excellent soccer.”
Throughout the season, Richard Rivas was praised by his teammates for his role as goalkeeper. In the final game, Rivas continued to uphold this reputation, making three saves during the state championship game. Winlock/Toledo was only able to score one goal.
“Richard stood out because he did a fantastic job of only letting a few goals in throughout the year,” Delargy said.
The team also credits the successful season to their strength in each position of play.
“The strengths were the middle of the field,” Bork said. “From front to back, side to side we were talented.”
This year’s team has been supported by a highly talented group of seniors, including Finley Oswald and Delargy, who have been instrumental to this season’s achievements. Their state win allowed the seniors to finish the season off strong.
“It was really nice to see the seniors win during their last season,” junior Marley Kott said.
Next season’s returning players,, along with potential new players, hope to bring continued success in future years.
“[I] am looking forward to upcoming freshman and the return of our varsity crew,” Bork said. “We will contend in the Nisqually League again.”
On May 30, Vashon celebrated the success of the Pirates, alongside the island’s other state champions, the Vashon Vultures lacrosse team, with a parade from Ober Park to the Vashon Theatre.
“This is such a momentous occasion for VHS soccer and island soccer,” Bork said. “ Being number one in the State of Washington is an awesome feeling.”
Boys Club Lacrosse
Lacrosse has a long history in Washington state. Against tough opposition, the Vashon lacrosse team dominated throughout the season, ultimately winning the title of state champions.
“We won all of our games except the one against 3A Peninsula,” Coach Michael McMillan said. “With that record, we qualified for a first-round bye into the quarterfinals of the state tournament.”
Arguably, the most important factor in any team is the players. Cooperation is key, especially for a game as complex as lacrosse. To win, all ten players must coordinate well with each other, something this season’s team effectively accomplished.
“I knew we had a very strong senior class and solid core of players,” McMillan said. “With that, my goal was for our team to go deep into the playoff schedule.”
The final game itself was a match against Liberty Lacrosse Club, a team that beat Vashon last year. As halftime neared, Vashon was down 0-2. With some changes in strategy, Vashon was able to score four points in the second half and prevent Liberty from gaining any additional traction.
“We played this team last year, and we lost to them, and we were worried the same thing would happen again,” junior Dominick Nagle said. “I thought we would do decently, but I never thought we would win state.”
With a history of losing to Liberty, fans and team members were concerned that entering halftime two points down was history repeating itself. The players and coaches worked to stay motivated throughout the remainder of the game.
“Once the second half started, we had some good plays that really turned the tables, and there was a sudden boost of confidence from everyone that you could feel on the field,” senior Jake Carman said. “From then on, we just needed to put the ball in the net.”
Showing dedication on and off the field, players were able to help their team in time for the playoffs and championship game.
“There was a strong core of players who showed up for practice every day, and even if they weren’t our starters, they provided the starters the opportunity to play good players to help us hone tactics and individual skills,” McMillan said. “Everyone on this team contributed to our championship success, and to that, I applaud them all.”