Written by SportsDayDFW.com
St. Mark’s rallies from five goals down to knock off ESD in OT, win first lacrosse state title in school history
PLANO — St. Mark’s has been synonymous with the lacrosse explosion in North Texas the last dozen years.
But until a five-goal rally and an 8-7 overtime victory Sunday over Episcopal School of Dallas, the small, all-boys North Dallas private school didn’t have a Texas High School Lacrosse League championship.
Before approximately 1,200 spectators at John Clark Stadium, St. Mark’s senior Evan Chang-Tung scored the tying goal with 43 seconds left in regulation and the winner in the third minute of sudden-death overtime.
Having lost to Highland Park in the 2010 and 2012 state finals, St. Mark’s (18-3) beat Highland Park in the semifinals Friday. St. Mark’s has played in five title games, suffering narrow losses each previous time.
ESD (15-7) had split two games with neighboring St. Mark’s and began this game with an emotional surge in the first half.
Barrett Anigian, Richie Loftus (twice) and Sam Romano scored. Freshman David Kerrigan made a scooping shot of a loose ball to give ESD a 5-1 lead to end the first period, and senior Jack Blair made it 6-1 early in the second period.
But just as ESD had built its momentum by aggressively picking up ground balls, winning faceoffs and shooting accurately, St. Mark’s remained poised by steadily closing the gap. Sophomore Michael Fletcher made two second-half goals. St. Mark’s cut the lead to 7-6 with a goal by sophomore Jack Fotosjek with 9:45 remaining.
“We were behind, but we knew it was still early,” Chang-Tung said. “We didn’t get down. We just kept playing one possession at a time.”
With less than a minute remaining, Chang-Tung made a quick dart to the net down a right-side alley and fired a shot past ESD freshman goalie Charlie Sikes, who had slowed down St. Mark’s rally with 19 saves.
With the first score winning in overtime, it took just three minutes before the speedy Chang-Tung had possession about 15 yards in front of the net and made a move similar to a step-back 3-pointer in basketball to make the winning goal.
“The mark of respect of a competitor is that they force the very best out of you,” St. Mark’s coach Hayward Lee said.
“We have a lot of respect for ESD, and they brought out the very best in us. I would have been proud of our team whether we would have won or lost.”