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Brother Rice is tested by Catholic Central, wins 12th straight title, 10-8

By: Cameron Billes, June 11, 2016, 9:57 pm

Howell – Birmingham Brother Rice is simply dominant when it comes to lacrosse.

Winners of the last 11 state championships, head coach Ajay Chawla was looking to make it his third consecutive in as many years as head coach.

Chawla has faced off against Detroit Catholic Central in the Division 1 state championship on Saturday each year he has been head coach, with each year the final score getting closer and closer.

Brother Rice (19-2) defeated Catholic Central 23-7 in 2014 and 16-7 last season.

The two teams also matched up twice during the regular season this year, where Brother Rice won both games.

Although Catholic Central (17-4) put up a good fight in this year’s finale, they were still unable to dethrone the champs, losing to Birmingham Brother Rice, 10-8, at Parker Middle School in Howell.

“They came in, they were inspired, they fought hard,” Chawla said. “(Catholic Central) is going to fight hard against Rice every time they come in. I think at the end of the day, we knew we were going to have a dogfight on our hands, and the nice thing is we’ve played very tough teams this year. We’ve been in these situations and our guys were able to pull it out.”

Brother Rice was on the offensive early, but after hitting the post twice in the first two minutes, it was Catholic Central that got on the scoreboard first.

Peter Thompson gave the Shamrocks a 1-0 lead on an assist from Nicholas Capatina with 7:11 remaining in the first quarter.

It did not take long for Rice to answer, tying the game on a goal by Nick Dudley less than a minute after Thompson’s.

After a goal from Daniel Reaume, and one from Catholic Central’s Collin Burgin the game remained tied. Dudley scored his second goal of the game to give the Warriors a 3-2 lead.

With 51 seconds left in the first, Thompson scored his second goal of the game to tie the game.

Thompson went on to score his third goal of the game in the second quarter and Brother Rice led at halftime, 5-4.

Burgin quickly tied the game for Catholic Central in the third, but Dudley netted two more for Brother Rice, giving his team an 8-5 advantage.

Thompson had four goals but his team still trailed 7-9 going into the fourth.

With less than five minutes remaining, Brother Rice goalie Teddy Lievois made a tremendous save in front of the crease to keep the lead at 10-8.

With 3:07 left in the game, Rocco Mularoni ripped a shot off the post that would have brought Catholic Central within one.

Brother Rice got possession and closed out the game in the final few minutes to secure its 12th consecutive Division 1 state title.

“Feeling really excited, it was a lot of fun,” Dudley said. “It was nerve-racking at first, but it worked out.”