No. 7 Chaminade released five years of frustration Friday night, beating No. 20 Crespi 9-5 for the team’s first win over the Celts since 2010.
And never mind that Crespi (0-10) came into the game winless on the season. The Eagles (8-3) enjoyed every minute of beating their Mission League rival, even drawing a penalty for rushing the field in celebration after a third-quarter goal pushed their lead to 6-2.
Crespi has now seen both sides of this coin. In 2011, coach Brock Livingston‘s first season as head coach, the Celts won 12-2 at Chaminade and exuberantly celebrated their first win over the Eagles in the school’s lacrosse history. Given the opportunity to turn those tables Friday, Chaminade was all too happy to oblige.
The Eagles certainly remember last season, when Crespi beat them 20-6 behind an 11-goal outing from Alex Dixon. Chaminade coach Steve Lane, who arrived as an assistant in the 2012 season and became head coach a year later, has experienced eight of the Eagles’ 10 consecutive losses to Crespi. And Chaminade’s seniors had gone 0-6 against the Celts, losing by an average score of 16-5.
So when senior Ryan Oaks scored 2:25 into the game for a 1-0 lead, the party on the Eagles’ bench was under way.
But the score remained 1-0 for seven minutes until sophomore Max Kim scored in transition at the 2:29 mark. Senior Mark Galanti scooped up an errant entry pass and flipped in an opportunistic goal 40 seconds later, and senior Mitch Kalkwarf scored with 28 seconds left in the period for a sudden 4-0 lead.
The momentum ended there, though, as Crespi dominated the ball throughout the second quarter, holding possession for the first five-and-a-half minutes and about nine minutes overall. It only translated to one goal, though — from sophomore Connor Pierce with 35 seconds left in the half — as Chaminade’s defense was active and relentless, limiting Crespi’s looks and challenging every shot. That defensive effort supported backup goalie Tyler Garcia, who played in place of starter Peter Manfredonia, held out for precautionary reasons to rest a sore knee. Lane said the team was without two other starters, as well.
The possession edge kept Chaminade off the scoreboard and the Celts within reach at 4-1 at halftime.
Crespi’s Jack Doyle scored early in the third to make it 4-2, but Galanti scored his second for Chaminade moments later to restore the three-goal cushion at 5-2.
It stayed that way for five minutes, but a two-minute, non-releasable penalty on Crespi for an illegal body check with 4:48 to play in the third gave the Eagles the opening they needed. Kalkwarf scored twice with the man-advantage — the first one resulting in the celebration penalty on the Chaminade bench — then added another for his fourth of the game, a natural hat-trick in the quarter and an 8-2 lead heading into the fourth.
Galanti scored his third early in the period for a 9-2 lead, and it appeared the rout was on. But Doyle fed Rafa Francisco on the doorstep to make it 9-3 with 8:46 to play, and senior Connor Leste scored unassisted at the 6:17 and 4:24 marks. Suddenly it was 9-5, and the Chaminade bench was much quieter.
The Eagles held it together, though, and closed out the victory. Now they can turn their attention to beating No. 2 Loyola, which they face at home on Tuesday, and No. 3 Harvard Westlake — two Mission League teams Chaminade also hasn’t beaten since 2010. Harvard Westlake beat Chaminade 7-3 earlier this season, running its winning streak over the Eagles to 11. Last year the Wolverines laid a 26-6 beating on the Eagles and their JV goalie, an emergency fill-in for an injured Manfredonia.
Beating a top-ranked team and ending another losing streak? That would be reason to celebrate.