No. 1 Corona del Mar came from behind in the fourth quarter to defeat No. 3 St. Margaret’s 11-9 on Wednesday and clinch the Sea Kings’ first County championship since 2012. St. Margaret’s scored three goals in the final minutes of the third quarter to take a 9-8 lead and the momentum into the final frame. However, the CdM defense and goalie Nick Guizan (3 saves in the fourth quarter) clamped down on the high powered St. Margaret’s offense to allow the Sea Kings to pull away.
In big games like this, the little things that don’t make the stat sheets often decide which team wins and which team loses. That was the case on Wednesday. Midfielder Ryan Meckler (pictured above) did not score any points, but his three groundballs and one caused turnover earned him game MVP honors and the Alpha Lacrosse shaft that goes with the honor. As head coach G.W. Mix told the Orange County Register “Those plays our kids made in that fourth quarter, when that ball was on the ground, to keep it at this (offensive) end. Ryan Meckler and those guys, did an amazing job,” Mix said. “They gave everything they had.”
Jordan Greenhall and Will Favreau paced the Sea Kings offense with four goals and one assist each. Stephen Von Der Ahe was a big factor once again with three points (2g, 1a) and four groundballs. Bobby Purcifull also scored. Jack Denning , Eric Fries, and Jason Simaan all dished out assists. Simaan had his most challenging game at the faceoff X this season (10/23) but came up with eight groundballs to help keep the ball in CdM sticks.
Nick Shanks ended his St. Margaret’s career with three goals and an assist. Erik Suh (1g, 1a), Koa Todd, Jeremy Davis, Samuel Harnisch (1g, 1a), Kevin Groeninger, Conrad Hampson all scored single goals for the Tartans. Suh and freshman Stuart Pollard combined to win 13 of 23 faceoffs. Goalie Payton Fales who won the MVP in the 2015 championship game had another MVP-like performance with 16 saves.
The Sea Kings meet Loyola Saturday at 1:00 pm at Valencia High School for the Southern Section championship.