Three years ago, playoff appearances were the last thing synonymous with high school lacrosse in Columbia County.
After Lakeside's 14-3 victory Friday over Greenbrier, however, the playoffs are a reality for the Panthers.
"Freshman year, we were getting beat 21-0 by teams (in Atlanta)," said Lakeside senior Chris Tynan. "Now, we're in the playoffs."
The Panthers, behind coach Ron Ritter, clinched the postseason berth with the win on senior night, and a pair of seniors led the way. Hunter Sollie scored four goals and had three assists, while Tynan finished with four goals.
Sollie said the atmosphere is different on senior night than during other games of the season.
"There is a little bit more effort," he said. "I think we got a little more pumped up before the game. Once they called our names (in the pre-game ceremony), we realized that this is our last game. I might as well make the best of it."
Junior John Carter added a pair of goals and three assists for Lakeside.
The game took a physical tone from the start, something Greenbrier coach Jeff Becker attributed to the rivalry between the only two high school programs in Columbia County.
"There's a little extra because it's a local game," Becker said. "These guys play in the summer league together, and they know each other, so there's no love lost between them.
"But it was a well-deserved win for them."
Becker said that an Augusta-area squad making the playoffs should help both teams gain recognition and confidence moving forward.
Play was sloppy through much of the first quarter, as the teams traded goals for a 2-2 score. Then the Panthers stormed ahead, scoring four times in a 3-minute span to take a 6-2 lead after the first quarter.
Lakeside added four more in the second quarter for a 10-2 halftime edge.
Out of halftime, Greenbrier's Scott Campbell tallied the first goal, bringing the deficit down to seven. But the Panthers responded with four second-half goals.
Campbell, a sophomore, has two more years to help develop the Wolfpack program.
"We have a great JV coming up, and I don't see anything but good things in the future," said Campbell, who also scored Greenbrier's first goal of the night. "Usually, when we play Lakeside, it's a physical game, so we knew what to expect."
The Lakeside boys squad joins the Lady Panthers squad, which earlier in the week clinched its first playoff berth by beating Greenbrier in the final match of the regular season.
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