Crespi Holds Off Late Rally to Beat Harvard Westlake

Harvard Westlake outscored Crespi 5-1 in the final 13 minutes of Tuesday night’s Mission League game in Studio City, and the Wolverines held possession for the final minute with a chance to tie. But Crespi, ranked No. 6 in this week’s coaches poll, held off the late rally to beat No. 7 Harvard Westlake, 11-10.

The Celts (4-4) improve their league record to 3-1, a game behind No. 1 Loyola (8-1, 4-0), which beat Chaminade 13-5 on Tuesday. Harvard Westlake (5-4) dropped to 2-2 in league.

Alex Dixon (pictured, left) scored six goals for Crespi, and Cam Radenberg, Sean Friedman, JP Harrigan, Jack Doyle and Connor Pierce each scored one. Radenberg added two assists, and Doyle, Dorian Ruh and Seth Park each had one assist.

Junior middie Philip Thompson (pictured, right) led Harvard Westlake with three goals, and Joe Woody and Aaron Drooks each scored two. Oliver Levitt, Jared Goldman and Tommy Park had one goal apiece. The Wolverines again played without senior attack Roman Holthouse.

Harvard Westlake controlled things in the first half, with Thompson dominating the faceoff and the Wolverines controlling possession. They led 4-2 after one quarter, but Crespi managed to turn momentum with stellar play from goalie Nick Enos (seven saves in the quarter, 13 in the game) and an aggressive ride that hounded Harvard Westlake into turnovers.

Late in the first half, Crespi’s Radenberg forced a turnover, scooped up the ground ball, then drew a push penalty. On the ensuing man-up, he fed Doyle for a goal that tied it 4-4. Moments later another Harvard Westlake turnover led to Dixon’s third goal with one second left in the half and a 5-4 Crespi edge.

After Woody tied it for Harvard Westlake early in the third quarter, Crespi began to take control, eventually building a 10-5 lead with two minutes left in the quarter. But a three-minute, non-releasable penalty gave Harvard Westlake an opening, and goals by Drooks and Thompson made 10-7 entering the fourth quarter.

Crespi managed to kill off the remaining two minutes of penalty time, and freshman Connor Pierce scored from distance to make it 11-7, but Harvard Westlake would not go away. Woody scored a man-up goal with 7:35 to go, and Thompson got inside with 3:48 left to make it 11-9. Crespi struggled to maintain possession and run clock, and turnovers continually gave the Wolverines openings.

Harvard Westlake attack Tommy Park dodged from X and threw in a runner to pull the Wolverines within a goal at 11-10 with 55 seconds to play, and a violation on the faceoff gave them one last chance. But Crespi withstood the furious final minute to walk away with the victory — despite not scoring for the final 9:40.