After qualifying for the state tournament for the first time in 2019 and enjoying success by going 1-1 and losing in the semifinals, the Yorktown Patriots were hungry for much more in that competition.
This spring, the girls lacrosse team indeed got considerably more, by winning the Virginia High School League’s Class 6 state tourney with a 3-0 record and capping its best season in program history.
Yorktown (19-4) routed the Battlefield Bobcats, 18-8, in the June 11 state championship match at John Champe High School in Aldie, for its 10th win in 11 contests.
“Our seniors were freshmen on that 2019 team, and my goal was for them to win a state title before they graduated,” Yorktown coach Jenny Tran said. “Winning the state this season was our vision and goal.”
Helping to further motivate the Patriots toward that goal was a loss to the two-time defending state champion Langley Saxons in the 6D North Region tournament-championship game. Just days later, Yorktown quickly avenged that setback with a 11-10 victory over Langley in the state-tourney semifinals. That followed a 10-7 first-round win over W.T. Woodson.
“We took that region-championship loss to Langley as a learning lesson,” Tran said. “We didn’t play with enough energy in that game, and we focused on that not happening again in the state tourney.”
Yorktown senior captain Carly LaPierre said the team was “100 percent” more motivated for the state tournament and possibly meeting Langley again after that region-final loss.
“We worked on playing more as a team and having a lot more energy,” said LaPierre, who will play at Denison University. “Our want to get a state championship became much bigger.”
In the state final, Yorktown dominated from the start, building leads of 6-0 and 9-1 and leading 11-3 at halftime.
LaPierre led Yorktown with four goals and two assists in the win. Sisters Emily and Olivia Stafford, along with senior captain Ainsley Burke, each scored three goals. Netting a goal each were Mila Perez, to go with three assists, Helene Lydon, Sophia Allenbaugh, Sydney Kaetzel and Libby LaPierre. Victoria Carcillo and Caroline Storer were in goal for the win.
“We had pre-game nerves, but once we got the ball rolling and had some strong offensive possessions and we were talking a lot on defense, everything went well,” said Burke, who will play at Colby College.
Added Tran: “We had been playing well, but we had to continue that and get the job done in the final against Battlefield.”
Carly LaPierre had five goals against Woodson, Emily Stafford had two goals and two assists, and Olivia Stafford, Marin McCormack and Charlotte Gyor all scored one goal.
Against Langley, Carly LaPierre had four goals, Libby LaPierre and Olivia Stafford had two each and Perez and Emily Stafford had one each.
NOTES: Yorktown’s overall playoff record was 8-1, including a 3-0 mark to win the Liberty District tourney . . . Tran’s high-school coaching career began at Battlefield, where she was the team’s head coach from 2009 to 2011, leading the Bobcats to district and region championships in 2011.