Robinson High School's Thurmond Shaw was suffering from a bad case of déjà vu.
The senor attack for the Rams' boys' lacrosse team remembered his team's heartbreaking 6-5, double-overtime loss to Langley in the 2009 Northern Region boys' lacrosse finals.
As his team -- deadlocked at 10-10 against the Saxons in Wednesday night's tournament finals -- prepared for another overtime game against Langley, Shaw fortified himself for the game's final minutes.
"I'm not losing this game again," he thought. "There is no way that we are going to lose in the same exact scenario."
The game already had been a rollercoaster of emotions for Shaw and the Rams. Trailing 4-2 after the first quarter and tied 5-5 at halftime, the Rams saw Langley take a 10-8 lead with four minutes remaining in the game.
Robinson first-team all-Northern Region midfielder Thomas Petrocci's shot brought the Rams within one goal with 1 minute, 59 seconds remaining in the game. With 13.4 seconds remaining, Petrocci struck again, tying the game at 10 and sending the championship to overtime.
With 25.5 seconds left in the first overtime period, it was Shaw that hit the game-winner on a bullet from 10 yards out to give Robinson some revenge and the 2010 Northern Region title.
"I just found the open spot and let it rip," Shaw said.
After scoring, Shaw raised both hands in the air as his teammates converged on him.
"Did I really just make that shot?" Shaw recalls thinking. "It was a great feeling and something that I'll never forget."
Despite hitting the game-winner, Shaw gave all the credit to Petrocci, the Robinson star whose two clutch goals sent the game to overtime.
"I know that I scored the last goal, but it was all Petrocci," he said. "Without those two goals, I wouldn't have even had that goal."
Petrocci scored a game-high five goals on the night, with Shaw adding a hat trick. Junior attacker Jason Stein added a pair of goals while senior attacker Connor Ruddy, who provided a key assist for Shaw's game-winner, got one goal for the Rams.
"Our key word has been 'together,'" Robinson head coach Justin Fitzgerald said. "We have 40 guys on the roster [and] we've really been successful at plugging guys in. Different guys are going to [step up] each night."
Langley was led by sophomore attack Sean Ahearn, who delivered a hat trick. Junior attack Jack Sandusky and senior midfielder Ryan Miller each added a pair of goals for the Saxons, with senior defender Thomas Robinson, freshman midfielder Luke Salzer and senior attack Jack Lundeen each contributing a goal.
The defending region and state champion Saxons jumped out to a 2-0 lead early in the first quarter with goals by Sandusky and Salzer. The Rams countered with goals by Petrocci and Ruddy. The game remained deadlocked for the majority of the second half, with the Saxons finally pulling away on goals by Lundeen and Ahearn. Ahearn's goal to give the Saxons a 10-8 lead came with 4 minutes, 37 seconds remaining in the game.
After showing the ability to kill the clock against Madison in the Liberty District tournament finals, the Saxons went into a stall mode, cutting the remaining time in half. The Rams, however, were able to regain possession, setting up Petrocci's late heroics.
"It feels amazing to get the revenge," said Petrocci. "They are a great team, but we went out there wanting it, and we got it."
With the victory, the Rams will enter the 2010 VHSL state tournament as the top seed. Despite the loss, the Saxons as defending state champs also will host a first-round game as the second seed.