Northwood boys lacrosse defeats Seaforth in second round of state playoffs


The Northwood Chargers boys lacrosse team advanced to the third round of the NCHSAA 1A/2A/3A playoffs with a 15-2 win over Seaforth at home Friday night. 

After a stagnant start, the Chargers (15-3) found their groove midway through the first quarter. After a goal from senior defender Will Johnson with six minutes left in the opening period, junior defensive midfielder Coltrane Northington won the ensuing faceoff and the Chargers quickly scored again off a Taylor Laberge goal, assisted by Will Smith. 

With four and a half minutes left in the first quarter, Laberge picked up a groundball after a Smith shot on goal and fired it back into the net. Laberge and junior Carson Fortunes each added one more goal to close out the first quarter with a 5-0 Chargers lead.

With nine minutes remaining in the second quarter, Smith bounced in a behind-the-back goal. After a few solid defensive plays strung together by Johnson, Smith found the back of the next again off an assist from senior Jason Walden. Smith scored again with 49 seconds remaining in the first half to complete his second-quarter hat trick.

Johnson chimed in with a groundball pickup and a goal just over 10 seconds later, which he celebrated by throwing his hands in the air and meeting Smith with a chest bump as the Chargers entered halftime with a 9-0 lead over their crosstown rivals.

The third quarter started with a seamless sequence from senior Taylor Zelhof on a pickup to junior Van Reece to Walden, who delivered a shot right on the crease for the tenth goal of the game. Fortunes scored soon after on an assist by freshman Grayson Cox, which the junior celebrated with flair — by pretending to eat corn on the cob with his lacrosse stick.

Seaforth’s first goal came with nine minutes remaining in the third quarter, as junior midfielder Ethan Hughes managed to find the back of the net for the Hawks (9-9).

This was quickly answered as two more Northwood goals added to the Chargers’ lead midway through the third quarter. Cox scored on an unassisted goal and Fortunes slung a shot into the back of the net near the six-meter arc to bring the score to 13-1.

The Hawks added a second goal with one minute remaining in the third quarter as Seaforth junior midfielder Colin Carbone sprinted down the middle of the field, stopping on a dime in front of the goal and firing the ball into the back of the net.

Walden added to Northwood’s lead with a goal roughly three minutes into the final quarter. Walden tallied another goal a few minutes later, slinging the ball as he faded away to his right, bringing the final score to 15-2. The Chargers celebrated as Smith, who assisted on the goal, mimicked placing a crown on Walden’s head. 

The win moves Northwood to the third round of the state playoffs, where it will face either Croatan or North Brunswick on Tuesday night.

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