Chantilly (VA) Seeking One More Deep Run

By Ryan Rohde

"One more" pass. "One more" groundball.

Coaches all around the country try to preach this concept to their players, but for the Chantilly Chargers (VA) lacrosse team, "one more" is the lifeblood of their squad.

Chantilly will take that motto into the postseason, where they are trying to defend their state championship crown. Being the reigning champs comes with the added pressure of having a target on their backs--everyone wants to take out number one.

"It's a brand new season," head coach Kevin Broderick said, "Playoffs are a whole new level."

Broderick took this approach prior to the start of the 2009 season. The Chargers lost 16 seniors from the 2008 title team, including the three starting attackmen. Broderick knew the offense was rebuilding and was going to be a work in progress, so he leaned on his experienced defense to be the heart of the team. It all starts with goalie Derek Kegerreis.

"Derek is a big-game player--he plays his best in the most crucial games." Broderick said. "He has really stepped into the leadership role this season. He even helps the offense by telling them the most difficult shots to save from a goalie's perspective."

Kegerreis and the rest of the defense have been more than impressive this season. The Charger defense has held opponents to just four goals a game while not allowing more than seven goals in any game. The offense, meanwhile, came into the season inexperienced, and relies on unselfish play. This is where "one more" really comes into play.

"Everyone is a contributor," Broderick said. "One game, a player might have five goals; the next game another player has five goals. If we can get a bunch of players with double-digit points, then we are mighty hard to stop. The defense can't key on just one player--they need to worry about all six on offense."

The Chargers enter the playoffs with a 9-1 mark, a stout record for a team that lost so much from last year. Broderick knows his team gained the experience needed for the '09 playoff run, much in part because they play in the always-tough Concord league. Evidence of this can be seen in the 2008 championship game where Chantilly met league rival Oakton.

Three of the Chargers' six league wins were decided by two goals or less, including a clutch 6-5 triple overtime win over area power Robinson. These tough league games have only helped the Chargers gain that valuable experience needed to be a success in the playoffs.

Broderick has confidence his team will be ready for any adversity they may face.

"There was a few games where we were losing where we came back to win." Broderick said, "This team is very resilient, they don't get rattled. We have a lot of experienced athletes that know how to win."

"One more" game is on the minds of all Chantilly players. Getting to play that "one more" game just means they are that much closer to the title. The Chargers know winning is never easy in the playoffs. They are approaching this run to the title in the best way possible: together.

They now play as one in hopes for "one more" championship.

2009-05-01



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