Churchill Boys Lacrosse Aiming to be First from Montgomery County to Win States
The boys lacrosse team from Churchill High School in Montgomery County are as motivated a group as there is this season.
The Bulldogs had a dream season in 2015, which ended with the team making a run to the MPSSAA 4A/3A state championship game. The team came up short against Howard in that title game, leaving Churchill with a bitter taste in its mouth. Had Churchill won, the Bulldogs would have been the first team from Montgomery County to ever win an MPSSAA state championship in lacrosse.
"That loss has motivated this year's team, especially in the past offseason to make sure we do everything we can to get back to the state championship and win it," head coach Jeffrey Fritz said. "We are trying to learn from last year's state championship loss and use it as motivation at the same time."
The added motivation has done wonders for the Bulldogs.
Churchill is 11-0 this season, registering victories against top teams such as Poolesville, Damascus and The Heights School. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 190-55.
"Our strengths are that we are playing together as a team, both on the offensive and defensive ends of the field," Fritz said. "Everyone checks their ego at the door to do whatever is best for the team as a whole. Our team has embraced our mantra of 'for each other.'"
If you look at a list of Churchill's results, it becomes clear very quickly just how potent the team's offense is. Churchill has scored double digit goals in every game this season, averaging a little more than 17 goals per game.
According to Fritz however, the offense being a strong component of the team's make up was not a guarantee coming into the season. The team had graduated four of its top six scorers from 2015, and while Fritz knew he would still have a lot of talent at his disposal, it would be largely untested at the varsity level.
The offense has been led by Reed Moshyedi (33 goals, 20 assists) and Spencer Knife (13 g, 23 a). While those two have put up monstrous numbers this season, it has truly been a team effort. Seven different players have double digit goals, while five had double digit assists.
"Our offensive coordinator, Mike Winter, has done a fantastic job putting our players in situations where they can succeed, and it's been a lot of fun to watch," Fritz said.
To think the team's sole strength is its offense would be a mistake though.
The Bulldogs also have the best faceoff specialist in school history on their roster as well. Austin LaBorwitt recently surpassed the previous record for faceoff wins, and currently has 496 in his career. LaBorwitt's play this season has ensured that Churchill spends the bulk of every game with possession of the ball, which has helped the offense be successful.
On defense, the trio of long stick midfielder Jimmy Rubino, and defensemen Jack Taylor and Cristian Edwards have been in excellent form. That group, along with goalkeeper Markus Hurd, will be essential if Churchill wants to make a return trip to the state finals.
Looking ahead, Churchill faced Blake and then a big test in their season finale against private school powerhouse The Landon School. Fritz hopes the test will adequately prepare the Bulldogs for a big postseason push.
Regardless of how the match up with The Landon School goes, it's clear what Churchill's ultimate goal is this season.
"We want to win a state championship. Getting there last year was nice, but just getting there is not enough," Fritz said. "We want to win states and bring Montgomery County its first lacrosse state championship!"
|May 3rd, 2016||By: Wick Eisenberg|