DOWNINGTOWN, Pa. — The 11th annual US Lacrosse Nationals came to a thrilling conclusion with four competitive championship games to wrap up three days of intense action in scorching hot temperatures. The thermometer soared into the mid 90s, but the effort never wavered.

Winning championships were the Texas Mustangs (Boys 13U), Yellow Jackets 2024 Wiener (N.Y. – Girls 13U), Igloo Black Diamond (N.Y. – Boys 14U) and Yellow Jackets 2023 Thorn (N.Y. – Girls 14U).

In the boys 13U division, 24 Lax (N.Y.) held a 4-2 with under 10 minutes to play behind four goals from midfielder Scott Seymour, but the Mustangs rallied for a 5-4 win. Keaten Cox scored with 8:20 left and Ethan Walling tied it up with 2:03 remaining in regulation.

Zacc McDonald, who made a save with one second remaining to preserve the Mustangs one-goal win over Freedom 2024 Red (Pa.) in the semifinals, came up with another clutch stop, making a save with 1:08 left to give his team another possession and Texas called a timeout to set up the final play.

“As we were in the huddle, I knew the guy the ball needed to go to,” said Mustangs coach Jamie Baker. “The look in his eyes, I knew that he had it to catch and finish and the other five guys around him knew that it was his time.”

The Mustangs worked the ball around and Jack Keyser then found Ty Robertson alone on the doorstep and he buried the go-ahead goal with just 12.7 seconds left. A final shot by 24 Lax went wide and the Mustangs celebrated.

In the 13U girls final, the Yellow Jackets 2024 Wiener (N.Y.) squad found itself trailing Hero’s 2024 Green (Md.) on multiple occasions. Hero’s had leads of 4-2, 7-5 and 8-6, but the Yellow Jackets rallied to score the final four goals of the game and post a 10-8 victory.

Isabella Dantuono had two of those final four goals, including the go-ahead goal with 3:35 and then Kayli Carannante added an insurance tally with 1:45 play. Dantuono led the Yellow Jackets with a hat trick while Paige Kawa had a pair of goals for Hero’s.

It was the second straight US Lacrosse championship for the Yellow Jackets as this group won the 12U division last summer.

“Immense pressure said Alexis Curcio, a coach in the Yellow Jackets program who was coaching this team for the first time, of what the team was facing. “Summer ball, it’s always leading up to this and you hope by the end of it you can see a lot of growth and improvement. I think they’ve always been in the lose by one club all summer. For them to be rallying and not losing by one is a huge confidence builder.”

In the 14U boys final, Igloo Black Diamond (N.Y.) faced an opponent it beat during pool play — Yeti 2023 Blue (Ill.).

Igloo had only allowed a combined eight goals in its first four tournament wins, but Yeti went toe-to-toe with them in the first half. Emmett Mosely scored twice for Yeti and the game was tied 2-2 at the break.

In the second half, Igloo got rolling and pulled away for an 8-2 victory. Nick Bruckner, the younger brother of former Duke star Jack Bruckner, scored a pair of goals to lead the Igloo offense.

“We love this tournament, we love the age-based tournament for where we are right now,” said Igloo head coach Sean Haggerty.  “I participated in this with my older son in 2013 and 2015, I think it’s awesome for the kids to have the experience. I think it’s important for the game of lacrosse to have these tournaments when you’re basically going against your peers.”

Wrapping up the day was an all Yellow Jackets final in the girls 14U division. Yellow Jackets 2023 Thorn edged Yellow Jackets 2023 Colbert 6-5 to win the championship in what was essentially a rematch of last year’s US Lacrosse 13U championship.

Tim Colbert’s team came out on top in 2018 playing as part of the Igloo program, but moved to the Yellow Jackets club in the off-season. This time, it was Rebecca Thorn’s team that claimed the title, overcoming the heat and tough competition.

“They knew it was the Igloo team from last year,” Thorn said. “It’s that fun rivalry, especially since they came to be Yellow Jackets. Everyone’s still friends, but they knew that we walked off losing by one (last year). They had that amped up energy.”

Taylor Hoss had a huge momentum boost for the Thorn team, scoring her second goal of the game with just one second remaining in the first half to put her team up 4-3. The Thorn squad never trailed again.

Alexandra Scialdone had a team-high three goals for the Thorn squad while Paris Panagopoulos had a pair of goals for the Colbert team.