Bellevue, Seattle Academy win boys state lacrosse titles

2014 Washington Lacrosse Boys State Championships

Boys Games – Division I State Championship Game

Cansler delivers first state championship shutout for Bellevue’s third straight state lacrosse title


Bellevue’s Riley Gulrajani (left), Chris Medzegian (center) and coach John Baumann hoist the Washington state Division I championship trophy for the third consecutive year. (Photo: Sue Larkin)

SEATTLE – Shutout lacrosse is nothing out of the ordinary for Bellevue High School’s Cole Cansler.

But on Saturday, the senior goaltender accomplished the unthinkable, blanking rival Issaquah 8 – 0 to record Bellevue’s third consecutive boys Division I state lacrosse championship before 1,805 at Seattle’s Memorial Stadium and the first shutout since the state’s first boys state lacrosse title game was contested in 1979.

“Getting this shutout was huge,” said Cansler who earlier this season blanked both Liberty and Mount Si by 17 – 0 scores. “This was a big accomplishment.”

For Bellevue, holding Issaquah, a team that handed the Wolverines one of just two losses on the season and put up 10 or more goals on its opponents 13 times all while blanking the Eagles leading scorer Zach Fritz, that stood out.

“We had to go after them aggressively, said senior long-stick midfielder Jason Monaghan who led the defensive effort for the Wolverines.  “Our coaches had a great defensive plan and we executed it all week. We knew what they were going to do.”

But it was the 6 – 5 home-field defeat to Issaquah back on April 25 that motivated the Wolverines from the start.

“We were talking last season that we needed a revenge game,” Cansler said.  “We’re just fortunate we got it.”

Now winners of 11 Washington state titles including four of the last five, Bellevue sparred with the Eagles for most of the first before senior attackman Hank Bethke struck at 2:52 to make it 1 – 0.

The NCAA Division I lacrosse commit to Ohio State’s goal launched a three-score run to the half that put Issaquah, who was struggling without the services of defender James Nelson, injured in the Bainbridge game, at a rare mid-game deficit.

“We didn’t have the punch that we normally have on defense and weren’t able to finish early,” said Eagles coach Brandon Fortier following a prolonged post-game meeting with his team after playing in his first state championship contest since winning back-to-back titles 2008 and 2009.

“Instead of it being 2 – 1, it was 3 – 0 in the third quarter,” he said.  “It got to us mentally.”

With its defense continuing to lead the way, Bellevue went on to score a single in the third with Eric Hael’s first of two just 39 seconds into the half to make it 4 – 0.


Bellevue’s Hank Bethke beats Issaquah goaltender Jordan Dondoyano for the first of eight unanswered goals to record the state’s first title-game shutout. (Photo: Michael Jardine)

The midfielder then connected at 9:38 of the final quarter followed by a single by Chrysalis School senior Nick Hutson and two by sophomore Joe Bethke to close out the scoring.

“Offensively we just handed the ball to the middies and they took care of it,” said Bethke one of 11 seniors on the Bellevue squad savoring their third career state title.

“We’ve all played together since the third grade,” he said.  “This year it means so much more for our senior class.”

Hank Bethke finished the day with four points (2g, 2a) and six ground balls, while Haehl had three points (2g, 1a) and six ground balls; and Joe Bathke had two points – all on goals and two ground balls.

Bellevue, which finished fired 49 shots toward Issaquah goaltender Jordan Dondoyano who had 13 saves on the day, while Cansler faced 17 shots.

Mikey Giannopulos had six ground balls to lead the Eagles on defense.

The Division I and Division II state title contests were webcast live to a national audience on


Liberty High School’s Navy ROTC Color Guard of Joey Tredway, Geddy Brandt, Connor Cole and Dan LeCompte presented the colors for the National Anthem of the Division I and II state title games.


Scoring 1 2 3 4 FINAL
Bellevue 1 2 1 4 8
Issaquah 0 0 0 0 0


Game Summary
Bellevue 8, Issaquah 0 – Seattle Academy wins Division II boys state championship (Hank Bethke, B, 2 goals, 2 assists, 6 ground balls; Eric Haehl, B, 2 goals, 1 assist, 3 ground ball; Joe Bethke, B, 2 goals, 2 ground balls; Nick Hutson, B, 1 goal; Jack Albrecht, B, 3 ground balls; Chris Medzegian, B, 2 ground balls; Michael Medzegian, B, 2 ground balls; Joe Bethke, B, 2 ground balls; Cole Cansler, B, 7 saves; Mikey Giannopulos, IS, 6 ground balls; Zach Fritz, IS, 3 ground balls; Spencer Webb, IS, 2 ground balls; Tyler Ulrich, IS, 2 ground balls; Jordan Dondoyano, IS, 13 saves)


Boys Games – Division II State Championship Game

Hadac’s OT winner lifts first-year Seattle Academy lacrosse past King’s Way for state title


Seattle Academy senior Nathan Cohen (foreground) hugs a teammate following the Cardinals’ Division II state championship overtime win over King’s Way Christian. (Photo: Sue Larkin)

SEATTLE – Tommy Hadac worked for nearly 50 minutes to rid himself of King’s Way Christian’s defenders with little success. But with 2:39 to go in overtime, the University Prep junior finally got it what he was looking for, scoring the sudden-death winner giving the Seattle Academy lacrosse program a state championship in its first year of Division II play with a 7 – 6 overtime win over the Knights, Saturday at Memorial Stadium in Seattle.

“It was all about getting separation,” said the University Prep junior who finished the day with two goals and a ground ball. “Momentum is what it’s all about. We had so much momentum.”

For the Cardinals who trailed 3 – 0 early in the second quarter, momentum swung early as King’s Way scored the final two of the second on Nick Ankeny and Evan Ramirez scores at 2:25 and then with just a second on the clock to narrow the gap to within a single goal at the half.

Then just 3:33 into the third, Seattle Academy gave up possession on a muffed dish to goaltender Andrew McCall, who was still hobbling after taking a hit to the leg in the first.

The turnover eventually produced a Michael Johnson goal with just under eight minutes to go in the quarter that tied the contest at three and ignited a three-goal Knights run that gave the Knights a 5 – 3 with 2:29 to go in the third.

“I was so scared,” said Cardinals junior attackman Aidan Lawry. “It was uncertain at that point. For us it was all or nothing.”

But Seattle Academy opted for all.

Fighting back on a Lawry goal just 21 seconds into the final set the Cardinals narrowed the gap to just a 5 – 4 King’s Way advantage.

“They moved the ball really well. Johnson is one of the best players that I’ve faced,: said King’s Way goaltender Conrad Littlefield and Columbia River High School junior, who finished the day with 14 saves keeping the Knights in contention.

“At the end of the day they wanted it more than we did,” he said.

Following Ramirez’s goal at 7:01 to again move the Knights’ ahead by two, Seattle Academy added two more including Johnson’s game-tying goal with 25 seconds to go in regulation to set up the overtime period.

photo 2

Seattle Academy’s Riley Johnson, a University Prep junior, drives past King’s Way’s Josh Emmy, a Skyview junior, in Saturday’s boys Division II state title game in Seattle. (Photo: Sue Larkin)

“We had may opportunities to put the game away,” said King’s Way head coach Josh Peck, who was playing with a shallow bench against a team with a number of players with prior state championship experience playing for Garfield and Nathan Hale High Schools.

“We had a lot of down-the-stretch-opportunities that we missed,” Peck said. “Our guys were gassed.”

Johnson led the way for Seattle Academy with three goals, while Ramirez had three for King’s Way.

Cardinals goaltender Andrew McCall had six saves, while Knights netminder Conrad Littlefield had 14 saves.

Seattle Academy finishes its season with a 14-3-0 record while King’s Way wraps up its season at 12-6-0.

The Division II title game along with the 6 p.m. Division I state title contest between Bellevue and Issaquah, was webcast live to a national audience on


Scoring 1 2 3 4 OT FINAL
Seattle Academy 2 1 0 3 1 7
King’s Way 0 2 3 1 0 6


Game Summary
Seattle Academy 7, King’s Way 6 – Seattle Academy wins Division II boys state championship (Riley Johnson, SA, 3 goals; Tommy Hadac, SA, 2 goals, 1 ground ball; Aiden Lawry, SA, 2 goals, 3 ground balls; Charlie Phelps, SA, 1 assist, 4 ground balls; Sam Brickman, SA, 1 assist, 3 ground balls; Parker Woo, SA, 8 ground balls; Andrew McCall, SA, 6 saves; Evan Ramirez, KW, 3 goals, 2 ground balls; Brian Prigmore, KW, 1 goal, 1 assist, 3 ground balls; Nick Ankeny, KW, 1 goal, 1 ground ball; Michael Johnson, KW, 1 goal, 1 ground ball; Justin Held, KW, 4 ground balls; Justin Wallers, KW, 3 ground balls; Hayden Trent, KW, 3 ground balls; Conrad Littlefield, KW, 14 saves, 2 ground balls)

About Lacrosse in Washington State
Lacrosse has over 100 years of history in Washington state with clubs playing in the early 1900s and high schools now in their fourth decade of state competition.  With Native American origins, lacrosse is one of the oldest organized sports on the continent and today is considered the fastest growing sport in America.  In Washington state, some 4,000 student-athletes attending over 200 high schools play prep lacrosse, while another 6,000 play lacrosse at the youth, adult and collegiate club levels throughout the state. For more information on high school lacrosse in Washington state visit



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