This is a familiar battle that has been fought five times over the last six years. And while some may want to see different teams in the finals, no one can deny that this was the game of games – and one whose outcome clearly raised the recognized caliber of play of all Arizona lacrosse.
Like two heavy weight prize fighters, Chaparral and Brophy went at each other from first whistle to final horn. Momentum seeming to shift back and forth, as each team landed blow after blow. Chaparral came out strong scoring the game’s first three goals within the first 7 minutes of the game with exceptional ball movement. However, Brophy not accustomed to playing from behind, pushed back hard, scoring three consecutive goals over the next 10 minutes to even the score at 4:26 in the second quarter. Chaparral added a goal just 7 seconds later and the score stood Chaparral 4-3 at half-time.
Chaparral opened the second half with a spark from midfielder Addison Earle who won the face off taking it straight down the field for a fast break goal. Shortly after, Chaparral responded with another goal for a 6-3 lead. For the second time in the game, Brophy answered with 3 straight goals, tying the game at 6-6, which truly displayed the relentless determination of each team. Chaparral went on to add two more goals to close the quarter at 8-6. The up and down battle was embraced by the fan-packed stadium as they too were on an emotional rollercoaster and the first three quarters all but guaranteed a cardiac final quarter.
The fourth quarter was played very tight. Both teams adding goals and Brophy pulling to within one at 9-8. At the 4:47 mark Chaparral added its tenth goal only to be answered by Brophy who scored just 0:47 seconds later keeping it a 1 goal game. 4:00 minutes – 4 minutes in the season to determine the champion. Momentum and emotions went back and forth with Chaparral trying to run the clock and Brophy looking to fire off the shot needed to tie the game. Chaparral’s defense came up big containing the high-powered offense of Brophy while Chaparral’s offense was able to possess the ball for nearly two minutes before a late game turnover gave the ball back to Brophy with 0:43 seconds left. Brophy used its last timeout and with the game on the line, two of the arguably best players in AZ were on the center stage for a game deciding isolation play. When Ryan Colby couldn’t be beat, a skip pass led to a Chaparral take-away and long ball toss for the victory and state championship. Game Over! Final Score: Chaparral 10 Brophy 9.
In typical fashion, when asked after the game what he was most proud of Coach Rovinelli responded by stating that all 13 of his senior players would be attending a university in the fall. From day one Coach Rovinelli has reminded his players that they are Student-Athletes….in that order. Congrats to first year Coach Rovinelli and his entire staff on a very successful season.
Offensively Chaparral was led by Championship MVP Senior Attack Tommy Driver (5G) who started the game off with 3 of the first 4 goals. Also making a scoring impact from the Attack position were Junior Ryan Erickson (1G, 2A) and Senior Carter Sloan (1A). Chaparral Middies played a key part in scoring against Brophy as each of Junior Finn Wells (1G, 1A); Sophomore Steven Larson (1G); Junior Addison Earle (1G) and Junior Kelsey Bejar added to points on the evening.
Senior Captain Defensemen Ryan Colby and Zach Hoover led the Firebirds defensive efforts to shut down Brophy’s high scoring offense while Freshman Goalie Alex Larson (12 Saves) frustrated Brophy’s shooters by saving 10 of the 13 first half shots put on goal; and clearing the ball with laser precision. As a team, Chaparral won the face off battle 13-10 (Wins by Junior Addison Earle 10 of 18; Sophomore Steven Larson 3 of 5) and the groundball war 37-31 (led by Junior Addison Earle 7; Junior Tommy Driver 6 and Senior Carter Sloan 4).
For more: http://www.chaparrallacrosse.net/