Congratulations to the players and coaches.
Coverage from Jim Ayello of the Indianapolis Star:
FISHERS — For most of this decade, Indiana’s boys lacrosse state championship has meant one thing: Cathedral versus Carmel.
This year was no different.
For the sixth straight year, the two titans of lacrosse met to decide the fate of the Indiana High School Lacrosse Association championship.
For the first time in three years, though, it was Cathedral that came away with the crown, knocking off the two-time defending champs 9-4 on Saturday night at Fishers High School.
The victory was special, Cathedral senior Tucker Senefeld said after the game. While he and his classmates won a state crown in 2013, each of the past two years the Irish have climbed up the mountain only to get frustratingly knocked back down by the Greyhounds. But this year, they evened the score.
“It feels great,” said Senefeld, an all-state goalie. “I couldn’t imagine a better way to go out.”
For Senefeld, victory also came with some redemption.
Cathedral coach Andy Gruber said Senefeld struggled so much in the Irish’s 12-10 semifinal victory against Culver that he was removed from the game in the second quarter.
“But we went with him again today, and he bounced back,” Gruber said. “He played great. I was very proud of him today.”
Senefeld’s solid goaltending and the sturdy defense around him were the story of the game, Gruber said. Cathedral is a defense-first team, and they suffocated Carmel’s electric attack all night.
The Greyhounds scored just one goal in the second half, despite committing additional resources late to try to draw closer. But their efforts were for naught. On this night, Senefeld and his defense could not be beat.
“I thought we competed well at times,” Carmel coach Tom Coons said. “But it wasn’t enough. We didn’t compete enough. And things got away from us in the second half.”
The first half, though, was tight as the teams traded goals early. Cathedral’s Luke Dennen and Carmel’s Jake Leitch were the stars of the first half, as each netted a pair of goals. Leitch’s first came with eight minutes remaining in the first quarter and evened the score at 1.
“That kid is a warrior,” Coons said of his all-state midfielder. “He does everything for us out there. I’m pretty sure I saw him selling hot dogs at halftime, too.”
After Leitch netted his second, Dennen knotted the score at 2 with 5:42 to go in the first quarter. A few minutes later, he gave the Irish a 3-2 lead after a nifty move.
The Irish entered the half with a 4-3 lead, and added to it late in the quarter on Grayson Gardner’s second goal of the game. From there, their offense took control. Less than three minutes into the fourth quarter, Dominic Musto made it 6-3. Then, with the Carmel offense pressing, Dennen completed his hat trick, scoring to extend the advantage to 7-3.
And the rout was on.
“I told coach Coons after the game,” Gruber said, “ ‘Maybe we’re like locusts that only come out once every three years.”
But one thing is for sure: If the past half-decade has taught us anything, Saturday was not the final chapter to be written about these two teams. This story is far from over, Coons said.
“We’ll be back,” the Carmel coach said.
“It’s going to take a lot of work, a lot of battling, but, oh yeah, we’ll be back.”