No. 9 Aliso Niguel came up with its biggest win of the season Wednesday, defeating Loyola, the No. 1 team in Los Angeles, 13-12. With the end of the season just three weeks away, the win keeps the Wolverines very much in the conversation for a top 8 playoff seeding and a first round home game.
Led by Jonah Rinaldi’s first quarter hat trick and Austin Stahl’s second quarter heroics between the pipes, the Wolverines went into halftime tied 6-6. At one point in the second quarter, Stahl frustrated the Cubs with three consecutive doorstep saves.
The third quarter was a see-saw affair. Although the Cubs scored first to make it 7-6, an Aliso defensive adjustment and Michael Marino’s success at the faceoff x, allowed the momentum to swing in Aliso’s favor. Two goals from Jake Lombardo and one each from Marino and Jeremy Traub, gave Aliso a 10-7 lead midway through the third quarter before the Cubs fought back to make it 10-9 with the final stanza coming up.
The back and forth continued up until the final whistle. The Wolverines expanded the the lead to 12-9 before the teams traded goals to make it 13-10 in Aliso’s favor with a minute and half left. Late Loyola goals by Jonathan Partamian and Ryder Mora were too little, too late and the Wolverines claimed the W.
Rinaldi (3g,1a) led the Wolverines with 4 points. Matt Jones (2g), Garrett Hoang (2g,1a), Jake Lombardo (2g) all contributed two goals for the Wolverines. Freshman Tyler “the human clearing machine” Jones contributed a goal, as did Traub and Marino. Stahl rejected 12 Loyola shots.
Loyola freshman attack Henry Hassenberg, may have played Lou Gehring to somebody’s Wally Pipp. In just his fourth appearance this season, Hassenberg owned the crease with a four goals, one assist night. Junior Sean Smith had three goals and two assists. Partamian had two goals and an assist, and sophomore Dominick Tragesar, freshman Wes Priestley and sophomore Ryder Mora each scored once. Sophomore Garrett Smith and junior Mike Lira each picked up an assist.