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Potomac School turns back Sidwell, claims MAC boys’ lacrosse title

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While searching for a high school in 2018, Owen Diesenhaus heard all about the Potomac School boys’ lacrosse program. His older brother, Josh, had played for Georgetown Day, a team that regularly struggled against the Panthers, long a perennial power in the Mid-Atlantic Athletic Conference.

When Diesenhaus started at Potomac as a freshman, the Panthers had fallen from the top of the MAC, but Diesenhaus was driven to help revive the Panthers’ tradition.

He accomplished that goal as a senior, helping the Panthers beat Sidwell Friends, 11-5, on Monday night in McLean for their first MAC title since 2017.

A late, seemingly meaningless goal made this lacrosse team’s season

“I fought my hardest to get it back,” said Diesenhaus, who scored twice Monday. “I knew we could do that. We have the talent. And I wanted to prove to everybody in the area that we are a top team because a lot of times we get looked down on.”

Potomac (11-8) won three consecutive MAC titles between 2015 and 2017 and has secured at least a share of the league championship 19 times. But Diesenhaus said he learned more during his time in McLean than just the importance of winning.

Diesenhaus began playing lacrosse while in first grade and long was focused on racking up goals. At Potomac, he has forged bonds with teammates, and the result was a title.

Maret walks off Potomac School in wild MAC championship game

“For most of my career, I was in my head, and I really struggled mentally to play my game,” said Diesenhaus, who plans to play club lacrosse for Wisconsin next year. “This year and last year are kind of the first years that I’ve ever been able to play outside of my head because of the community as a team.”

Last year, the team read “The Hard Hat,” a book exploring the character of Cornell player George Boiardi, who died after an in-game injury in 2004. Boiardi wore No. 21, which Potomac awarded Diesenhaus this season as the team’s leader.

Diesenhaus scored his second goal in the final seconds of the third quarter against Sidwell (9-9) to push the Panthers’ lead to 9-3. Not long after, coaches were spraying sparkling cider on the players as they posed for photos with the championship banner.

“It’s good to kind of start that tradition again,” senior midfielder Noah Yanowitch said. “I’ll come back in a couple years, and in the rafters we’ll see the 2022 [banner] and see the ones — hopefully — in the next couple years.”

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