The St. Andrew’s boys lacrosse team won’t have to travel far when it takes on Jupiter Friday night in a Florida High School Athletic Association state semifinal match.
Neither will the American Heritage girls lacrosse team, which plays Vero Beach tonight in its state semifinal.
After two years in Jupiter, the FHSAA Lacrosse State Championships will move to Boca Raton High School. This weekend’s tournament will feature six games spread over a three-day period. Semifinals will be played today (girls) and Friday (boys), and championship games are set for Friday (girls) and Saturday (boys).
Boca Raton also will host the 2018 FHSAA Flag Football State Championships this weekend. Six games are set for Saturday, beginning at 9 a.m. Championship games will be played at 5 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
The final event of the weekend will be the boys lacrosse state championship game, which is scheduled for Saturday at 8 p.m.
That game will feature at least one Palm Beach County team for the first time in four seasons. Benjamin was a state finalist in 2014, falling 9-2 to Orlando-Lake Highland Prep in the title game.
Jupiter and St. Andrew’s are bidding to follow the Bucs into the finals this year, and their semifinal should be a tight one.
The Scots (17-2) defeated the Warriors (19-2) 9-8 in overtime April 3 in their only meeting of the season. Jupiter trailed by two goals with 2 minutes remaining, tied the game with less than 10 seconds left, and fell short in overtime.
Both coaches expect the rematch to be equally as close.
“We anticipate the same type of back and forth game, as this is a matchup of two talented and disciplined teams,” said Warriors coach Nick O’Hara, whose team last made the state semifinals in 2012. “Both teams have improved over the last month, playing against some of the best teams in the state to get this far.”
“Jupiter is an outstanding lacrosse team,” added Scots coach Tony Seaman. “Both our teams are very evenly matched.”
The girls lacrosse semifinal between American Heritage and Vero Beach also should be a close one.
The Stallions, led by two-time Palm Beach Post Player of the Year Caitlyn Wurzburger, are 21-1 and ranked No. 1 in the state by MaxPreps. The Indians, a perennial lacrosse power who won the state championship in 2015, are 19-4 and ranked No. 2 by MaxPreps.
“(Vero Beach) is a big, fast, highly skilled team that has playoff experience,” American Heritage coach John McClain said. “We have to play fast, play smart, and hustle to the ground balls.”
Tonight’s game is scheduled to start at 8. It will be the first meeting of the season between the two teams.