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BULLETIN: August 14, 2022 — Has the championship of AU Lacrosse turned into a dead heat?

SPARKS, Md. — Today, the final two games in the 2022 Athletes Unlimited women’s lacrosse season were played.

What we do know is that in the first game, Team Johansen beat Team Glynn by a score of 16-13. And in the nightcap, featuring the two highest point-getters in the four-week-long league, it was Team Marino defeating Team Apuzzo 9-7.

But what we don’t know is who won the league championship. It seems after four weeks of unprecedented starpower and unprecedented events (including the first known post-overtime shootout in recorded history), we have a potential imbroglio and a possible recount as to who won the league.

During the final minutes of the afternoon game between Team Apuzzo and Team Moreno, the cumulative individual scores were flashed upon the scoreboard. Tied with 1767 points each were the two captains. One captain, Sam Apuzzo, was the 2018 Tewaaraton Award winner. The other team captain was goalie Taylor Moreno, who backstopped North Carolina to the 2022 NCAA title.

The tension grew throughout the game as the lead switched between the two luminaries. Apuzzo had a lead of 57 points headed into the game, but Moreno inched closer and closer as she made a number of six-point saves and Apuzzo was docked two for each shot that Moreno gobbled up.

The final minute ticked off with Team Moreno running out the clock as winners, so she and every member of her team took home 45 points, but Team Apuzzo won the fourth quarter, pulling back 20 points. This means that the game ended with Moreno leading 1792-1767, a 25-point margin.

There’s more. After every Athletes Unlimited game, team members vote for a game MVP. You would suppose that each of the 14 players on Team Apuzzo would vote for their captain, and each of the 14 on Team Marino would do the same.

But the teams aren’t the only voters: the MVP points went first to Kenzie Kent (45 points), second to Katie O’Donnell (30), and third to Apuzzo, who took home 15 points.

What that means is that the race for the Athletes Unlimited championship, after four weeks, 12 games, and numerous scoring opportunities, wound up in a near-tie; Moreno 1797, Apuzzo 1787.

At the postgame ceremony, Moreno was declared the provisional AU Lacrosse champion. Moreno, ever gracious, called Apuzzo to the lectern where each gave postgame speeches as if they had won outright.

Still, the words of the announcer at U.S. Lacrosse Headquarters were something to pay attention to: Moreno was labeled at the provisional champion, and an announcement was made that the final totals were subject to appeals.

In other words, I think we’re going to have a recount.

That, for certain, is something we’ve never seen in lacrosse.

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