By Zach Shugan
MILTON, Ga. — From the moment the two teams took the field for warmups all the way to the final horn, the Roswell and Milton boys lacrosse teams went at each other. There’s not much, if any, love between the bitter rivals, and this time around they were playing for the area championship and a one seed in the upcoming state playoffs.
After 48 minutes of fierce competition Friday night at Milton, it was Roswell that walked away with the area crown. The Hornets (13-3, 6-0) took control early and led the whole way, winning 17-11 in their first game against Milton (7-6, 4-1) in over two years.
“Obviously it’s one of our preseason goals to win the area championship,” Roswell director of lacrosse Bryan Wallace said. “We want to be a one seed because we want to have home-field advantage for as long as we can in the playoffs. We’ve had a tough area. This is a super big rivalry game, and it was a great Friday night opportunity. I’m really happy with the way we played.”
Roswell scored 45 seconds into the game, as senior Evan Plunkett netted his first of four goals on the night.
The Hornets piled it on the Eagles early, at one point leading 6-1 before Milton senior Mitchell Scott scored at the end of the first quarter to make it a 6-2 game and steal some momentum.
Milton used that momentum to win the second quarter, holding Roswell scoreless and adding three goals to make it a one-score game, 6-5, at halftime.
Milton and Roswell went back and forth in the third quarter. The Hornets were able to grow their lead to 11-8 by the end of the quarter thanks in part to three goals in six minutes by sharpshooting sophomore Alex Lobel.
Roswell continued to expand its lead in the fourth quarter, putting away the Eagles on the road and locking up their second consecutive area championship.
Lobel led Roswell with five goals, and Evan Plunkett added six assists in addition to his four goals. Sophomore Myles Quandt won 19 of 26 faceoffs and scooped up 11 ground balls. In goal, senior Phillip Waller came up with 14 saves.
With the area title clinched, Roswell also earned a one seed in the 6A-7A state tournament and home-field advantage through the first two rounds. The Hornets will host the four seed out of Area 3 in the first round either Apr. 28 or 29.
Prior to the state playoffs, the Hornets will finish their regular season slate with a pair of tough non-area matchups against Blessed Trinity and McCallie (TN).