The Ponte Vedra Sharks are two wins away from a boys lacrosse state championship and will face-off against Winter Park in the state semifinals May 5 at 7 p.m. at Paradise Coast Sports Complex in Naples.
The Sharks (18-3) have taken care of business up to this point and have showed an ability to win with an offensive explosion as they did in victories over Flagler Palm Coast and Nease before leaning on its goaltending and clutch shooting to win an 8-7 barnburner over Lake Mary in the regional final.
Ponte Vedra’s semifinal matchup has all the makings of a shootout as both teams have displayed their arsenal of weapons during the postseason.
The Sharks are averaging 15.6 points per game in three games during the state tournament, while the Wildcats (19-2) have averaged 17 points per game.
There was little opposition to the Wildcats in Region 2-2A, and it led to them winning all three of their games by a double-digit margin, including shutting out Windermere to clinch a spot in the final four.
Maddox Johnson leads the Sharks high-powered attack with 56 goals on the season, followed by Will Corbett and Corey Bloss with 30 and 22 goals, respectively.
Corbett has also done an excellent job of facilitating the ball and has a team-high 20 assists.
However, it is the depth of scoring that makes the Sharks so dangerous to defend. That depth is evident with eight players with at least 18 goals on the season.
Nolan Parlette has been a workhorse for the Sharks in net all season and the senior and his defensive mates will surely be up for the challenge once more against the Wildcats’ dynamic offense.
The Wildcats use a different approach to the Sharks as they do not have the same depth of scoring production but make up for it by having five players who have scored 30-plus goals.
Of those players, senior Lawton Dowdell leads the way for the Wildcats with 61.
If the Sharks defeat the Wildcats, they will play for the state championship against the winner of the St. Thomas Aquinas vs. Plant matchup May 7 at 7:30 p.m. in Naples.
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