Chagrin Falls Boys LAX Finish as State Runner-up
June 9, 2021 by Jason Baxter

In what has become a traditional June meeting, the Chagrin Falls Tigers and Mariemont Warriors met for the fourth time in the Division II Boys Lacrosse State Championship game.

In what has become a traditional June meeting, the Chagrin Falls Tigers and Mariemont Warriors met for the fourth time in the Division II Boys Lacrosse State Championship game.

The Tigers defeated the Warriors two years ago (in 2019), 10-4, to win the title.

But this year, in a tight game June 5 at Selby Stadium, on the campus of Ohio Wesleyan, Mariemont avenged that loss, outlasting Chagrin, 12-9, to win its fifth state championship in school history.

Despite being a traditional powerhouse, the thought of the Tigers playing the state championship game in March likely started and ended in the locker room. Yet an extremely young and talented group battled its way to to the final game anyway.

Said Chagrin Falls Head Coach Paul Corto said: “With losing the 2020 season, we didn’t have the opportunity to develop our bench. We were literally developing as we were playing. It’s kind of like trying to change a tire on a car while it’s moving.”

The young team that matured into a state finalist had won eight games in a row before its final loss, and 12 of its last 13 games. The Tigers finished the season with an 16-8 record overall. With the win, Mariemont improved to 16-5.

The game was a back-and-forth battle that started in the first half. Mariemont jumped out to a 3-1 lead with 1:45 left in the first quarter.

Down 4-2 at the start of the second quarter, senior Tyler Bookman hit the back of the net twice, with junior Fritz Clark finishing off the 3-0 run. Clark finished the game with three goals on five shots, and added an assist.

The Warriors led 7-5 at halftime and jumped out to an 8-5 lead two minutes into the second half. Junior Michael Maschke added two third-quarter goals to pull within 9-7 at the end of the third quarter.

The Tigers struggled in two key areas: faceoffs and ground balls. They were 37-16 on ground balls and 20-4 on faceoffs. Despite being statistically defeated by the Warriors, the Tigers were in the game until the waning minutes of the fourth quarter.

We just couldn’t climb out of the deficit,” Corto said. “It’s a credit to Mariemont and their faceoff guy. He called (Seth) Greene the overriding factor.”

Clark netted a goal on an assist from Maschke to make it 10-8 with 6:23 remaining in the game. Then the Warriors put the game out of reach with back-to-back goals, making it 12-8.

Cam Croasdaile added a late goal for the Tigers, but the damage had been done.

After this season the Tigers lose two seniors (Bookman and defenseman John Ranieri) but return their top two goal-scoring threats in Clark and Croasdaile, while also returning key players including goalie Wes Kaas, junior captain Camden Amata, faceoff specialist Charlie Fredrick and Maschke.

We’ll take this and we’ll build on it for next year,” Corto said. “Everybody else is back. We have a talented eighth-grade team that’s a rising freshman class. The future is bright in Chagrin.”