PV lacrosse team comes up short in state championshipBy Jerry Norton


Ponte Vedra’s remarkable unbeaten season ended one game short of the state lacrosse championship when the Sharks lost to St. Thomas Aquinas 13-11 Saturday evening.

The Sharks had earned the right to play in the championship game with a 16-11 win over defending champion Lake Highland Prep the night before.

Ponte Vedra never led against the Saints but still kept the game close for most of the play and in fact tied matters at 10-10 with a minute left in the third quarter on Matt Keeler’s goal.

St. Thomas regained the lead with seconds left in the third quarter then put the game away with a pair of goals in the final quarter. Reid Smith’s goal with 30 seconds left was too little and too late to make a difference. His goal was his third of the game along with one assist. Clay Welch scored three goals, Ben Buchanan two and Matt Keeler two with an assist. Jack Burke with a goal and Jacob Reeves with an assist competed the Sharks’ scoring.

The Sharks also found themselves on the short end of the score against Lake Highland Prep more than several times in the previous night’s game. They trailed at the break for only the second time all year but overcame the 6-5 deficit in the third quarter to take a 9-8 lead with a little more than a minute left in the quarter.

The tide turned on the Highlanders in the closing seconds of the quarter as Keeler, Andrew O’Dare and Buchanan each scored unanswered goals to push the Shark advantage to 12-8 as the period ended.

Smith again paced the Sharks scoring with three goals and an assist. Welch also scored three times. Matt Keeler had a pair of goals, Buchanan had two scores and an assist and O’Dare scored twice. Parker Blin finished with a goal and an assist while Burke added a goal and CD James an assist.