CARY – Apex built a solid lead and then held off a furious comeback by Charlotte Catholic to take a narrow 7-6 victory Friday night In the North Carolina High School Athletic Association’s state 4-A men’s lacrosse championship at WakeMed Soccer Park.
Senior midfielder Nick Greco of Apex scored two goals and handed out two assists, earning the Most Valuable Player award for the championship.
It was a rematch of last year’s championship which was won by Catholic 11-8.
Greco, Jack Hayden, and Chandler Besser each scored two goals for Apex, with Hayden finishing the season with a total of 48 goals. Besser also had two assists.
Apex led most of the way, holding a 4-1 lead at the half, and was up 6-3 with 10 minutes to play before Catholic mounted a rally. A goal by Seamus Bryne pulled Catholic to within 6-5 with 7:20 to go.
The Charlotte team in the battle of Cougars had the ball down 7-6 with 1:36 to play but could not score, with Apex finally taking possession in the final seconds. However, Catholic had a whopping 39-14 advantage in shots, with an 18-10 edge in shots on goal.
Seamus Byrne had two goals to lead the Catholic scoring.
Charlotte Catholic ended the year with a 20-3 record and was making its second consecutive trip to an NCHSAA men’s lacrosse final.
Apex wound up 20-2 and was in the championship for the fourth time in the tournament’s six-year history, with a win in the 2013 state final. The Cougars have compiled an outstanding 22-4 mark all-time in NCHSAA playoff action.
Apex 2 2 1 2 -- 7 Charlotte Catholic 0 1 2 3 -- 6