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The Vashon Valkyries... on their way to an undefeated season.
2019 Season Wrap up: State Champs (X2)

Vashon Vultures hoisting State Championship Trophy

The Vashon Lacrosse team took a preseason hit in December when Senior Cal McMillan suffered an ACL tear playing drop in soccer.  I personally heard the knee pop.  There went his Senior Season.  Except Cal was having none of that.  He pressed the Dr for a recovery plan, and he got himself back at end of April for 2 regular season games.  He was neither 100% nor to be denied.

It was good to get him back because Senior co-captain Kiryk Mozeleski went out with a bad concussion in the 4/19 game against South Kitsap.  His repeated question was “Did I score”?  “Yes, twice” but he was out indefinitely.  Vashon went 13-1 in the regular season, its only loss to 4A Peninsula, and they came back 2 days later to beat 4A Gig Harbor.  Final regular season tally was Vashon 169 Opponents 45.  

This gave them home field advantage in the playoffs, and an important first round bye. Mozeleski got released from the concussion protocol before the first playoff game; scary as a parent.  Coach Michael McMillan agreed to keep his playing time to a minimum.  In the playoffs they met Sehome at VHS stadium and beat them 16-8.  Senior Paris Brown dominated the game with 5 goals and 3 assists.  Mozeleski had 1 goal and 2 assists, and Cal McMillan had 2 goals and 1 assist.  Yup, they were back. Notably Mason Rice had a long pole goal in the game as well. Senior Jake Carman had perhaps one of the highlight plays of the season with a no look interception at a full sprint.  

Next up Vashon met Orting again with Home field advantage.  Orting was down 7 goals in first quarter if memory serves.  Over the course of the game Mozeleski had 6 goals (despite only playing about half the game), Paris Brown had 5 goals and an assist,  Yury Coocoules had 3 goals and 2 assists.  Fin McClure was dominant on the faceoffs shutting down Orting’s All-Conference face off star, and contributed a goal and an assist as well. The entire team contributed, including freshmen Ryder Jones (who had 17 goals on the year), with solid play to help carry the day and allow other players to rest. And with that Vashon was on to the State Championship for the first time since 2005!  

Assistant coaches Alex Craighead and Tristan Carbery and Nickey Wilks were on that State Title team, reinforcing confidence in the players. Defender Nick Amundsen from class of '13 assisted as well coaching the defense named “Joe’s Garage” after Senior Joe Giglierhi (with a nod to Zappa).  No one gets into Joe’s Garage without regretting it.  Joe and senior co-captain Mason Rice were just dominant in defense.  Many times Mason stole the ball, and made bruising runs upfield to get the ball to our offense.  And let me say, junior Mitchell Nye in goal is well, solid.    His save percentage was 16% higher than the next best in our division.  At 66% he set the bar high, and kept us in key games including the state championship.

This was played at Starfire at 4:30 PM on Saturday 5/25.  The Soccer Title Championship was just ending, and with a 3-0 lead in our earbuds with 10 min left, we turned to Lacrosse.  They say revenge is best served cold and it was a miserable day for late May.  Liberty had stifled and stomped our ambitions last year in the quarterfinals allowing us just 3 offensive possesions in the first half.  The game started similary, but they managed just 2 goals in the first quarter including one that deflected off a player and dribbled into the goal.  The second quarter was 0-0, a defensive display without equal on both ends.

The question was what halftime adjustments Coach Michael McMillan had? Charlie Rosenberry and Mark Paridon (Vashon Lacrosse coaches emeritus) both agreed that our planned offensive plays were not working against this defense and that we needed to make goals in transition.  In the third quarter the opportunity arose, and Paris Brown came up the middle hard, faked left went right, pounded off the second defender and ripped a shot into the net.  The second goal was by Jake Carman with one second left in the quarter.  Suddenly Liberty was on their heels.  Game not as planned. The Vashon Crowd erupted with cheers of “Lets Go Vashon”! ! ! !!  

The fourth quarter started and Vashon again scored two goals.  A carbon copy Paris Brown goal then Yuri Coucoules on a nice feed from Jake Carman.  This made it 4-2 Vashon.  Liberty was not giving up however, and managed 4 decent attacks.  Joes Garage was not welcoming any visitors but Liberty did manage one desperate goal.  A key play was freshman Joe Barnes using his quickness to drive into a carwash of midfielders, and come out with possession giving Vashon the final few seconds they needed.  This was a major team, club, and community effort, and at that a double State Championship as soccer won 3-1 as well.  Vashon take a bow!!

by posted 05/26/2019
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