Both lacrosse programs end their season in the district final.
Matanzas hoped for a similar outcome such as last year’s district finals, when both the girls and boys won the championships against St. Augustine. This season St. Augustine got its revenge, ending the Pirates’ seasons on Thursday, April 6, at Pedro Menendez (girls) and Father Lopez.
The boys were seeking a third straight district title — all against St. Augustine — but couldn’t hold on accomplish the three-peat.
After leading 5-3 with less than two minutes before the halftime break, Matanzas surrendered two late goals and lost 12-9.
“From August to April, my coaches and players put in hundreds of hours, working towards the district championship,” said head coach Jeff Goren, “so, when you fall short, it's tough. Our goal this year was to keep our competitive edge while rebuilding the team, and we successfully accomplished that goal.”
"From August to April, my coaches and players put in hundreds of hours, working towards the district championship, so, when you fall short, it's tough."
JEFF GOREN, Matanzas boys lacrosse head coach
The Pirates graduated 13 seniors last year. They were still able to return to the district final, and half of their games were
decided by one goal.
“I have a group of battle-tested players who are now veterans coming back for next season,” Goren added. “The athleticism was always there, but now they have the experience behind them to reclaim the title next year. I expect that all of the players will put in the off-season hard work required to get there and look forward to working with them next season.”
The Lady Pirates were not able to repeat as district champions, falling to the Jackets 15-5. Matanzas had just beaten St. Augustine 8-7 in overtime on March 21.
The Pirates also struggled this season, having lost several key players to graduation, such as Bailee Hurd, Jillian Bontempo and Bella Benvenuto.
“The season started off kind of rough,” said sophomore Cadaen, who led the team with 45 goals and eight assists. “But, after a while I felt like we got into the swing of things. I thought we really changed it around for the better and proved to people who may have doubted us that we still had it.”
Looking forward to next season, Wilds added, “I am very optimistic. Several of us will be playing together over the summer, and others will be training. Hopefully that means a stronger start to our 2017-18 season.”