For a brief stretch early in the fourth quarter of the Class 4A/3A state semifinals, the Thomas S. Wootton High School boys' lacrosse team had solved the stingy South River defense.
Passes were crisp, shots were on target, the transition game was flowing, and the usually reliable Patriots attack — which tallied three goals in two minutes to erase a 6-3 deficit — had returned to form.
But scoring outbursts like that were few Friday in Pasadena, where Wootton's playoff run — and its undefeated season — would come to an end after a 10-7 loss to South River (16-2).
“Their defense around the crease really affected the way we play our offense,” said junior Myles Romm, who had a team-high four goals. “… Lacrosse is such a game of momentum and once we got on the wave, we kind of rode it. And I guess we had quite a bit of a drought toward the end.”
The Patriots (17-1) had multiple scoring droughts, getting shut out in the first and third quarters, and going quiet after Jake Dunlop's game-tying goal (6-6) with less than eight minutes remaining in the game. Wootton, averaging 16.1 goals per game, was held below double-figures for the first time this spring.
“They played really good defense, we played really good defense, and they outscored us,” Wootton coach Colin Thomson said. “They took care of their opportunities when they could, and we didn't.”
South River's Dylan Mansur scored a game-high five goals in the first half and triggered a 4-0 Seahawks run with go-ahead 7-6 goal midway through the final period.
“If you're going to lose, you lose to a good team. And they're a good team,” Thomson said. “... I don't like losing but we're very proud of our season.”
Romm scored three of his four goals in the fourth quarter, leading the comeback with back-to-back goals early in the period.
“He's been that way all year. People underestimate him,” Thomson said. “… He plays all out, he's got a bright future.”
Wootton, which defeated Winston Churchill 14-12 in Wednesday's West Region championship, was making its first trip to the state semifinals since appearing there six consecutive times from 2006 to 2011.
“[This season] we came together as a family and we really pushed through,” Romm said. “We didn't accomplish what we wanted to accomplish but we worked hard and we worked as a family.”
South River, which defeated Wootton 14-13 in the 2011 semifinals, is set to play the winner of Saturday's semifinal game between Howard and Dulaney.
South River 10, Wootton 7
Wootton 0 3 0 4 — 7
South River 1 2 3 4 — 10
Wootton (17-1): Goals — Myles Romm 4, Max Coonin 1, Jake Dunlop 1, Jake Mitchell 1.
South River (16-2): Goals — Dylan Mansur 5, Cole Fanzo 1, Grant Maloof 1, Joseph Pettey 1, Gunnar Schimoler 1, Brandon Senft 1.