There have been some fantastic finishes this year, lots of games coming down to the wire and Los Alamitos vs Yorba Linda on Monday was no different. Los Al charged hard after falling behind 9-4 in the third quarter and rattled off four unanswered goals before falling 10-8 with the outcome still in doubt in the final minute.
I’ve seen a lot of good lacrosse this year and this game was no different. Excellent atmosphere at Los Al and both teams play tough physical lacrosse year in and year out. Two well coached programs with some ballers out there no doubt. Another fun night in the stands.
Yorba Linda jumped out to an early lead and maintained it through the first half. Blake Hardison started the scoring for Yorba Linda. Hardison dodges very hard to get topside and score. And despite drawing the attention of some highly regarded defenders this year, he continues to be a major factor in 1 vs 1 situations. Hardison finished the night with two goals and two assists but he got robbed on some nice saves; otherwise those numbers would have been higher.
Ed Shean got Los Al on the board unassisted to make it 1-1. Ed can dodge, shoot, feed equally well, so he’s just a tough cover. After that it was a back and forth game of runs with Yorba Linda opening up some leads and then Los Al working hard to catch up but never quite getting there.
Brock Melanson, Lucas Demogines (back to back goals) and Hardison were the catalysts for the first run. Their four consecutive goals gave the Mustangs a 5 – 1 lead but the dogged Griffins came back with Drew Anderson, Ryder Buell and Jack Hunter tallying to making it 5-4 at the half.
Yorba Linda’s goaltender Hunter Platt Linda continues to make lots of tough saves. He’s been very good all year and he made some big stops late in the second quarter to help the Mustangs hang on to the lead. Platt stopped a seven yard rip from inside the hash mark from one of the better Los Al shooters with no one near the shooter so full hands free rip, and followed that up with point blank save.
We highlighted a Palos Verdes freshman on Saturday who started and hung tough, no easy task for a youngster at this level. Yorba Linda had their own freshman on D, Morgan Kroenbush who had the task of covering Sean Park, the man who scored six 6 goals vs Tesoro. Kroenbush did not look like a freshman at all. He was very good 1 vs 1, slides and clearing games. This kid has a real shot to be legit in the years to come.
Yorba Linda came out firing it the third as Jack Johnson won the opening faceoff and scored unassisted. Tyler Bohlinger scored next followed by Blake Stewart with back to back assists by Melonson. Yorba Linda got it to 9-4 and it looked like lights out for the Griffins. Then Park went on a tear with a man-up rip off the stick side near-pipe that was just great shooting. Luke “Glow” Glowaki got one unassisted and Park caught fire with back to back goals unassisted in Q4 and suddenly we had a 9-8 game and the crowd was rocking on both sides!
At this point a player familiar to Maxlax readers got into it in a big way. Four-year Yorba Linda starter Trevor Krause made some plays that affected the outcome of the game for sure but did not show up in the score book. With 5:00 to go in the game he came up with a key ground ball in a 6 man battle 10 yards inside the Yorba Linda half of the field. Similar to Cole Garvey (2020) of Mira Costa High Krause has an uncanny ability to get tough ground balls. Garvey is now at Bryant U playing for the legendary Mike Pressler. At the 3:32 mark Krause had a key take away on a double to slow down the furious Los Al comeback attempt.
It was edge of your seat lacrosse as the crowd continued to cheer on every play both ways. With 55 seconds remaining in the game and Los Al still pressuring to tie the game, Krause saved a goal with a last second lift that forced the Los Al offensive player to shoot wide from four yards out after getting topside on a nice move. No lift that one goes in.
Still 9-8 Yorba Linda. The Griffins to their credit were all over the field, trying to force OT. They are a very well coached team it is obvious.
Blake Stewart scored to make it 10-8 Yorba Linda but with this pace of play Los Al was still in it. With 30 seconds to go Krause got one more ground ball and Yorba Linda ran out the clock.
For Los Al, once Park got going he was very good in the second half. Shean had way more positive impact on the game than the score book showed, drawing plenty of slides thus opening it up for his teammates and he was robbed a couple times by Platt. Anderson. a junior I had not seen much at all due to last season being cut short, also had more impact than the score book would show, dodging to draw slides and couple big Platt saves or he could have busted it wide open. He was a big part of the rally that just fell short.
For Yorba Linda, Melanson continues to do things as well that don’t show up in the scorebook in the riding and clearing game, always plays hard. Thanks to Los Al for being a gracious host. Having watched games as a fly on the wall for four years for Maxlax it’s easy to see and hear they are one of the most positive/non negative crowds in OC year after year. We all know the issue in OC with negative fans at a program or two and Los Al is part of the solution. Side note: met coach Glowaki on the way out. He played at Delaware for offensive coordinator Scott Marr, who is now head at Albany and has a daughter playing at Tampa…..Stay tuned on Tampa for a 2021 commit most likely next 2 days from the Trinity League.