For the past two seasons the Thomas S. Wootton High School boys’ lacrosse team has had a thorn in its side — 4A/3A South Division rival Winston Churchill. The Bulldogs won three of the past four meetings, including knocking the Patriots out of the playoffs both years.
Wootton took the first step toward removing that thorn on Saturday, jumping ahead early against visiting Churchill before running away with a 14-6 victory.
“It’s just bliss — it’s retribution,” Patriots defenseman Cole Abid said. “We felt like we’ve had them the past two years ... This year, they dug themselves a hole and we kept piling on. We showed a lot of intensity and we just didn’t let up.”
Wootton led 4-0 after the first quarter, and pushed that advantage to 6-0 before the Bulldogs answered with their first score. Austin Schoenfeld and Jake Mitchell contributed two goals apiece during the initial burst from the Patriots (10-0 overall, 5-0 Montgomery County 4A/3A South).
Defensively, Abid locked off on Churchill’s main scoring threat, Louis Dubick. The junior harassed Dubick for the entire contest, holding the University of Maryland recruit without a point. Abid pointed to his second-quarter takeaway check that led to a Mitchell goal in transition as the moment he realized the impact his play was having.
“I think that play characterized the game, because they came in very cocky and arrogant because they beat us the past two years,” Abid said. “Dubick being a (Division) I top-school commit — I’m not committed yet — so he thinks ‘It’s just another high school kid. I got this, it’s easy.’ I timed up the check, waited for it and threw a little wrap check that hit right on the head. The ball popped out, I kicked it out to my teammates and we are a great transition team so we finished it.”
The Bulldogs (9-2, 4-1) showed some fight in the third quarter, scoring four goals in seven minutes to cut the deficit to 9-6. Nick Muscarella, Derek Altobello, Marshall Rhodes and Matt Mosheydi each tallied a score during the run.
“We just buckled down at halftime and stuck with the game plan,” Bulldogs coach Jeff Fritz said. “We just had to step up and make more plays. We had to focus and play error-free lacrosse. Against a good team like Wootton, if you make a mistake they are going to capitalize on it and that’s what they did today.”
The Patriots responded to the Churchill charge with two unanswered goals to end the quarter. Three fourth-quarter scores solidified the victory for Wootton. Schoenfeld finished with five goals and an assist, Mitchell contributed four helpers and three goals, and Myles Romm added three assists and a score. Tim Golden chipped in with two goals and an assist, while goalie Patrick Cornelius finished with 13 saves.
“It’s a good win for us,” Patriots coach Colin Thomson said. “The boys played well. Cole had a solid game against Lou, and then Austin and Jake on the offensive side. More than that, this was a team win all around, and I’m very proud of the boys. They worked really hard, and it was good to get this win.”
The victory secures the division title for Wootton with an unblemished 5-0 mark against Montgomery County 4A/3A South opponents.
The Patriots face Quince Orchard on the road on Monday in their next contest. Meanwhile, the Bulldogs square off against IAC powerhouse Landon in a road tilt on Tuesday.
Thomas. S. Wootton 14, Winston Churchill 6
Churchill 0 2 4 0 -- 6
Wootton 4 4 2 4 -- 14
Churchill (9-2, 4-1): Goals -- Derek Altobello 2, Daniel DiBono, Nick Muscarella, Matt Mosheydi, Marshall Rhodes.
Assists -- Daniel DiBono 2, Marshall Rhodes 2.
Wootton (10-0, 6-0): Goals -- Austin Schoenfeld 5, Jake Mitchell 3, Tim Golden 2, Myles Romm, Jake Dunlop, Max Coonin, Matt Saltzman.
Assists -- Jake Mitchell 4, Myles Romm 3, Austin Schoenfeld, David Siegel, Tim Golden, Max Coonin.