Seneca Valley senior Mike Argyros admitted that, with the clock ticking and the Raiders and Shady Side Academy locked in a one-goal game, his team started to "freak out a little bit."
After all, the Raiders had come so close before, falling in the title game two years ago. Not this year, though.
Seneca Valley scored a pair of fourth-quarter goals to put the game away and claim the school's first WPIAL Division 1 boys lacrosse title with an 8-5 win against the Indians.
"It's been my dream since my freshman year, and I still can't believe that we did it," Argyros said.
Argyros scored four goals for the Raiders (17-1, 5-0), and senior David Hall and junior Derek Finney added two apiece.
For the first three quarters, the Indians (9-9, 3-2) stayed with Seneca Valley. With four ties and two lead changes, it looked like anyone's game.
Argyros scored two goals in the final 4:33 of the third quarter to give the Raiders a 6-4 lead heading into the fourth, but Shady Side's Daniel Mathieson scored 11 seconds into the fourth to put the outcome back in doubt.
"Coach [Peet] Poillon brought us in, talked to us, he got us all focused," Argyros said. "We started running the plays, moving the ball and putting it at the net."
From that point, the Raiders dominated possession and took quality shots on net. Agyros and Finney added fourth-quarter goals.
The Raiders will enter the PIAA tournament Wednesday as WPIAL champions for the first time.
"I think it was just a hump that we've needed to get over," said Poillon. "We've been close for a lot of years."
• Hampton 16, Greensburg Central Catholic 7: In the Division 2 championship, Hampton dominated early and pulled away late to claim the school's third WPIAL title in the past four years.
The Talbots (14-6, 7-0) defeated Greensburg Central Catholic by starting with a 7-0 run and closing with an 8-0 spurt.
Junior Dylan Szramowski scored six goals for Hampton, including five of the team's first seven. Junior Andy DeMichiei, a US Lacrosse All-American who is verbally committed to play college lacrosse for Marquette, added three goals and five assists.
After Hampton jumped to a 7-0 lead midway through the second quarter, the Centurions (11-7, 8-0) answered back with a 7-1 run to cut the lead to 8-7.
"We were comfortable," Hampton coach Greg Edleman said. "Maybe a little too comfortable. Greensburg Central is the best-coached team in the league.
"I always tell our guys the most important goal is always the next one. As they kept scoring, we just had to make sure that we got the next one after that.
"Eventually, we were able to put the brakes on them and we went on a run of our own."
Hampton finally broke the streak when Szramowski fired in a goal from the right side with 2:31 left in the third quarter.hsother
Sam Werner: firstname.lastname@example.org and Twitter @SWernerPG.