Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse capture District Championships; Flag Football holds off Apopka
Prior to 2012, Men’s Lacrosse had never won more than six games in a season. On Thursday night at Lake Nona, DP (13-3) capped a turnaround season under head coach Matt Provencher with a 12-11 victory over Olympia to capture the program’s first-ever District Championship. Lucas Casas scored three goals and assisted on a fourth, Ryan Totten found the back of the net three times while Doug Essig and Ian Decker scored twice. DP fell behind, 2-1 in the first quarter, but took control of the game quickly with Casas hitting for two unassisted goals to give the Panthers a 9-6 lead heading into the half. DP had to hold off a furious Olympia rally in the second half, as expected, as the Titans scored three of the next four goals to pull within one, 10-9. With under five minutes remaining, Ryan Totten wrestled control back to DP, however, driving through the defense for an unassisted goal and added another less than a minute later off a Casas assist to push the lead back up to 12-9. After the Titans scored two goals in the final two minutes to cut the deficit to 12-11, Ryan Totten came up big yet again by winning the faceoff with 11 seconds left and passed to Brett Forward on attack to ice the championship. Dexter Wiley scored a goal and added an assist, Jordan DeJager picked up a goal as well with Brett Forward, Jake Gillen and Doug Essig adding assists. The Panthers, who have broken virtually all team records this season, including wins (13), earned a first round bye in the Regional playoffs and will await their opponent April 27th.
Katherine Breese scored five goals while Cymber Larkin and Sarah Hamp scored four goals apiece to lead Women’s Lacrosse to a 19-3 victory over host Lake Nona for their third District Championship in four years. Elizabeth Hales led DP (14-2) with six assists and scored two goals of her own and Ravene Moore added two goals and assisted on two more. The Panthers picked up solo goals from Jessica Clark and Asahi Hirano with Michaela Decker coming in with two assists. This marks the first time the Panthers have won both the Metro West Conference and District Championships in the same year. Larkin has scored seven goals in two games, despite being hobbled by a foot injury and on crutches during school for the past three days. DP, which has won 11 straight games and set a new record for most wins in a season, advances to the State Play-in round Tuesday night where they’ll host the winner of Tampa Catholic and Cardinal Mooney.
Women’s Lacrosse coach Kerry Watson earned the 2012 Metro West Conference Coach of the Year award for the second consecutive year.
Dr. Phillips Flag Football was shorthanded without quarterback Hannah Schaible and top receiver Jade Cheek, but the Panthers still beat visiting Apopka 20-18. Ashley Diedrich stepped in at quarterback, completed 13 of 19 passes and two touchdowns and ran for a score as DP (11-0) overcame a 12-0 first half deficit. After Apopka returned an interception for a score midway through the second quarter, Diedrich got the Panthers back on track with a deep pass to senior Ashley Vevera inside the Blue Darter ten yard line. Three plays later, Diedrich took it to the house from five yards out to halve the deficit, 12-6, at the break. In the third quarter, junior Rachel Lopez intercepted an Apopka pass on the opening drive to set the Panthers up in great field position. Diedrich fired completions to Malia Harrison and Jshyra Reed before connecting again with Reed for the game-tying touchdown. Shya Garrett’s extra point reception put DP up, 13-12. In the fourth quarter DP, clinging to a one-point lead, put together a long scoring drive culminated by Diedrich’s touchdown pass to Malia Harrison for a 19-12 lead. On the exta point attempt, Rachel Lopez‘ acrobatic catch pushed the lead to 20-12 but Apopka came right back with a 65-yard touchdown run to pull within two, 20-18. The potential game-tying two-point conversion attempt was no good and the Panthers were able to burn off the final two minutes of the game for their 21st consecutive victory. Lopez, Garrett and Vevera recorded key interceptions for the defense.