The best regular season finish in the Swansboro boys lacrosse program’s history resulted in a second-round playoff appearance last week.

The Pirates lost to Croatan 11-4 in the second round, finishing the season 7-8 overall. They were seeded No. 11 in the 1A/2A/3A state playoffs after finishing third in the Northeastern Coastal Conference. They had a bye in the first round.

The program began in 2019 with the Pirates finishing 0-11. Head coach Derek Geddes took over in 2020 and led the team to a 4-6 record in 2021.

“I think it was a great season overall,” Geddes said. “We did a lot things we set out to do. There is still a lot of work to be done, obviously, but this was a successful season and we’re heading in the right direction.”

Croatan (10-3 overall) also reached a new program benchmark with a third-round berth on the strength of 10 goals from three freshmen. The Cougars were the No. 6 seed after placing second in the same conference.

“This is a team full of freshmen, so we’re playing with house money right now,” Croatan coach George Benson said. “Honestly, we came into the season focused on next year and beyond, but this team has really taken off faster than we expected.”

Croatan struck first with two goals in the first six minutes of the opening quarter, but Swansboro answered right back with a Chase Petty goal in the seventh. The Cougars went on to score nine straight goals into the fourth quarter.

“This is a young team with only six upperclassmen, and sometimes that shows,” Geddes said. “There were some mistakes, but I thought the seniors really left it all out there. Good luck to Croatan in the next round. They’re a well-coached team.”

The Pirates mounted a rally in the fourth quarter with three straight goals. Colin Shank scored with five minutes left, Brady Geddes scored with two and change left and Petty added one more with 1:13 on the clock. Geddes dished assists on two goals.

Petty led the team in scoring points this season with 28 goals and 7 assists. Geddes also tallied 21 goals and 22 assists. Jace Wilkens put up 11 goals and two assists in five games before an early-season-ending injury.

In the net, Bucs goalie Hunter Shank finished with 21 saves to help him finish the season with 268.

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