Lions Upset ESD, But Fall in Title Game

St. Mark’s reached the title game of the THSLL state tournament before falling to The Woodlands on Sunday in Round Rock. (Photo: Thao Nguyen)

By Michael Shapiro / Special Contributor

ROUND ROCK — One day after notching a semifinal win over rival ESD in the state semifinals, St. Mark’s fell to The Woodlands in the championship game at the Texas High School Lacrosse League state tournament on Sunday.

With the 10-6 loss, the Lions enter their offseason still searching for the program’s first state title since 2013.

“We tried to close the gap after falling behind today, but [The Woodlands] had a little too much offense,” St. Mark’s head coach Hayward Lee said. “Congrats to The Woodlands, they were the best team I saw this year, and we couldn’t quite keep up.”

Despite the momentum from Saturday’s win, the Highlanders (21-1) pressed St. Mark’s (11-8) early and often, taking control with an aggressive offensive scheme.

A goal from attacker Mitch Williams three minutes into the contest set the tone early, one of four Woodlands scores in the first quarter. The senior added a second goal before halftime, giving the Highlanders a commanding 6-1 lead.

St. Mark’s found the back of the net six times, beginning with a rocket off the stick of Reaves White late in the first quarter. Adding offensive punch were a pair of seniors, Garrett Mize and Josh Daniels, each of whom scored in the third frame.

But three Highlanders poured in multiple goals in the battle, with seniors Jack Barron and Ramsey McCreary joining Williams.

Saturday brought St. Mark’s a key win for the program, its first win over ESD in the last 10 tries. But on Sunday, The Woodlands claimed its first crown in program history, and broke a winning streak for Dallas-area teams that stretches back to 2007.