The Eagles scored in the second minute of the first overtime to clinch its second AAAAA state title in the last three seasons with a 10-9 victory over the Trojans.
Lassiter lost its third straight championship game since winning state in 2006 with two of those losses coming against Milton. The Eagles defeated Lassiter on its own field in the 2010 championship.
The Trojans had a chance to win it after winning the face-off to start the overtime period. They called timeout afterwards to set up an offensive play, and when the play broke down, Hunter Rowley forced a shot near the crease that was saved by Milton goalkeeper Jackson Cate.
Milton gained possession after Lassiter’s missed shot, and the Eagles converted their second shot opportunity when Evans Lockwood shot and scored from around the 12-meter circle.
“We tried to cap it on the first possession and we didn’t, what can you do?” said Lassiter coach Brendan Leezer, who led the Trojans to a 16-3 overall record and an Area 1AAAAA title in his first season. “We had a goalkeeper (in 2012 all-American Ryan Smith) that we can rely on (during overtime) but Milton can feed the ball really well and they had a great shot around the screen.”
Garrett Shank led Lassiter with four goals against Milton that all came in the second half after the Trojans fell behind 7-3 early in the third quarter. Rowley, who had two goals for Lassiter, started the rally by scoring on a pass by David Olson, who brought the ball down field in transition.
Then Shank took over by scoring two unassisted goals to cut the deficit to 7-6 at the end of the third quarter. Rowley tied it at 7-all early in the fourth quarter when Rowley finished another Olson pass.
“Our fans got behind us (in the second half) and we started believing in ourselves,” Shank said. “We came back to send the game into overtime but we had opportunities to put it away and didn’t capitalize.”
Milton ended Lassiter’s four-goal run a minute later and tacked on an insurance goal with 5:04 left to play, but Lassiter wasn’t finished yet. Shank scored a transition goal to cut the deficit.
Milton maintained its lead until the final minute of the fourth when Cash Carlson knocked the ball loose from Milton’s Jarred Wellen, Shank scooped up the groundball and scored his final goal on the run to tie it at 9-all.
Jack Fitzharris had an open shot for Lassiter during the waning seconds of the fourth but Cate saved it.
Lassiter was strong for three quarters but went into a lull in the second and Milton took advantage by outscoring the Trojans 5-1 to take a 6-3 halftime lead.
“We started the game well, but in the second quarter, we allowed them to have the inside,” Leezer said. “We fought and came all the way to send it to overtime, but by then it’s anyone’s game.”
Justin Newell led Milton with three goals, and Lockwood, Brandon Davis and Jake Jenkins scored two each.