Lake Norman boys lacrosse state championship bound following win over Marvin Ridge

Everything that Lake Norman boys lacrosse program has built itself into is who it needed to be on Tuesday night.

The heartbreaking late-round playoff battles over the past few years, owning one of the state’s most difficult non-conference schedules, and escaping fellow powerhouse programs when it mattered the most all paid off. The Wildcats are heading back to their first state championship game since 2018.

Ty Faucher’s lone goal of the game gave Lake Norman a lead that it would not relinquish in a thrilling 13-11 4A western regional final victory over Marvin Ridge.

Hayden Cichon recorded a hat trick while Pete Geraffo, Stratton Rehrer, and Cole Jackson added two goals apiece.

Geraffo and Rehrer opened the game with a pair of goals. Ryan Ormond answered back with two of his own to pull even at 2-2 through one quarter.

Marvin Ridge pushed its run to 4-0 to claim its only lead of the night. Adin Bregman netted consecutive goals to give the Mavericks a 4-2 advantage with 4:45 left in the second.

59 seconds later, Cannon Wigginton got the Wildcats within a goal. Brandon DeBerardinis paired his two first-half assists with a game-tying goal to make it 4-4.

Cichon closed out the half with a pivotal tally to enter the break up 5-4. As time was expiring, he ripped a shot through the five-hole of the goalie and in.

Braden Houlihan’s first of the night evened the score at 5-5 four minutes into the third, but the freshman Jackson had a lightning-fast response for Lake Norman.

Jackson’s goal was the first of two in the span of 16 seconds to give the Wildcats a 7-5 lead.

The two sides went back and forth to close out the period. After Max Sansone scored for the Mavericks, Geraffo and Rehrer punched back with two more goals to give Lake Norman its largest lead of the night.

Just before the final minute of the third, Ormond found the back of the net to slash Marvin Ridge’s deficit to 9-7.

Brady Johnson scored 67 seconds into the fourth to give Lake Norman 10-7 lead. Out of a timeout, the Mavericks responded with a 3-0 run to knot the score at 10.

The rally started with Ormond’s fourth of the game. Houilhan finished off a feed from Jack Nicollette to pull back within a goal, then Ormond electrified the visiting sideline with the equalizer.

Faucher bounced a shot just under the bar to rip the lead back for good. Jackson’s second of the night followed, and it ended up being pivotal insurance at 12-10.

Lake Norman landed the dagger after Kyle Mosley scooped a ground ball and found Geraffo ahead of the pack. A quick pass to Cichon pushed the lead to 13-10. While up a man, Marvin Ridge answered in the final minute, but it would be too little too late.

The Wildcats will face Green Level at Durham County Memorial Stadium this weekend. It’s the second meeting between the two teams this season. Back in early March, the Gators escaped with an 8-7 win. Lake Norman will be appearing in a state championship for the sixth time in program history. They won it all in 2012 and 2018.

Stay tuned for times and dates when they are announced by the NCHSAA later this week.

Coverage from the 4A east regional final between Green Level and Cardinal Gibbons can be found HERE: