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San Ramon Valley High's Michael Tagliaferri is photographed on Saturday June 25, 2011 at San Ramon High in Danville, Calif. He's the boy's lacrosse player of the year. (Dan Rosenstrauch/Staff)

It wasn't necessarily discussed by Michael Tagliaferri and the rest of the San Ramon Valley High boys lacrosse team, but it was understood.

This season was not going to end with a loss.

After winning the East Bay Athletic League title, the senior-laden Wolves stormed through the first two rounds of the North Coast Section Division I playoffs and beat De La Salle 5-4 in an emotionally charged championship game last month at Dublin High.

At the center of it all was Tagliaferri, San Ramon Valley's senior attack who some have called the best boys lacrosse player to ever come out of Northern California. It seems fitting, then, that his high school playing career ended in celebration.

"It was a game where we would either define our legacy or be forgotten," said Tagliaferri, the boys lacrosse player of the year, of the championship. "I remember at halftime of that game, that's when it kind of hits you. There are the last 24 minutes of my high school career."

Tagliaferri had two goals and an assist on a goal by his brother, Peter, in the championship game. Despite being the focal point of opposing defenses, the Wolves captain finished with 48 goals and 25 assists this season. He was named the EBAL's Most Valuable Player and an All-American, and he will play for North Carolina next season.

But according to Wolves coach Peter Worstell, Tagliaferri's biggest contributions this year didn't come in personal statistics.


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"His biggest upside this year was his ability to maintain his aggressiveness to the cage and draw multiple defensemen," Worstell said, "creating space and opportunity for the rest of the offense."

San Ramon Valley's graduation is Friday, but Tagliaferri will not be able to attend. He left Tuesday morning for New York to train with the under-19 national team, which will be competing in the world championships in Finland in July.

Still, Tagliaferri doesn't need his name called as he's crossing a stage for people to remember who he is. He and his teammates secured their legacy at the school with an NCS championship banner.

"We wanted to win it for San Ramon Valley and for coach Worstell," Tagliaferri said. "For my high school career to have ended that way, I couldn't have asked for anything more."