ESD Surges to Thrilling Lacrosse Title

By Mike Waters / Contributor

MAGNOLIA — Episcopal School of Dallas knocked off The Woodlands 12-10 to win its sixth Texas High School Lacrosse League title on Sunday.

“We earned it,” exclaimed ESD head coach Joy Sothoron after the Eagles earned their first crown since 2019 by upsetting defending champion Highland Park in the semifinals.

University of Virginia signee Sean Browne hammered in a game-high five goals, and Josh Logan added four more to lead the ESD offensive attack.

“Total team effort,” said Browne. “This is so special.  We grew up together.  It may not have been pretty at times, but we got it done.”

A pair of Browne first-quarter goals jump-started the Eagles offense, and he added two more in the second period. His score with less than six minutes left before halftime gave ESD a 5-3 advantage. 

After The Woodlands knotted the score at 5-5, Browne responded with a rifle shot with 1:23 remaining in the second stanza to regain the lead, and with just 25 seconds before intermission, Logan found the corner of the net that enabled the Eagles (20-4) to take a 7-5 halftime lead.

Hunt Sands, a High Point signee, drilled in a pair of third-quarter goals — on assists from Logan and Browne — while Browne knocked in his fifth goal with 2:31 left in the third period for a 10-7 ESD lead.

Logan, who was named the Offensive Outstanding Player, recorded both ESD fourth-period scores to clinch the win over The Woodlands, which fell in the championship game for the second straight year.

“So proud of these guys,” said Sothoron. “It feels good. We had a lot of special moments this season, and this just caps off a great season.”

The No. 4 playoff seed, ESD advanced to the title contest with a thrilling 8-6 win over top-seeded rival HP on Saturday. Sands notched three goals and ESD held the high-powered Scots offense scoreless in the first and fourth periods. 

Harris Sands, who is a cousin of ESD’s Hunt Sands, tallied three goals to lead the Scots (16-4), who suffered their only two in-state losses this season to the Eagles.

“Great job by everyone,” said ESD goaltender Conner Kowalewski. “I was just so happy to be a part of it. I was just glad to come through. We have come so close the last several years, but this year we won it all.”

Kowalewski played the entire game in goal both the semifinals and the championship. That was a departure from the regular season, when Kowalewski and Xander Monteiro would alternate with each playing a half.

“We are blessed to have two talented goalies. We just decided before the semifinal, if one had a hot hand, we would stick with him,” said Sothoron. “Conner set the tone for us against Highland Park. We did not play our best game against them. But he did a tremendous job, and our defense bailed us out.”

ESD’s two victories over HP this season helped to avenge a heartbreaking 11-10 defeat against the Scots in last year’s semifinals. Last weekend, the Eagles dispatched fellow rival Jesuit Dallas in the playoff opener. They also earned a ninth consecutive SPC title in April.

The Woodlands (12-4) escaped with a 12-11 win over Austin Westlake in the semifinals, snapping Westlake’s 14-game winning streak and repeating a semifinal result from last season.

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