A year ago, the Culver City Middle School lacrosse team won only one game. This year, the Centaurs went undefeated and claimed the Delphic League Championship with a 6-5 overtime victory over Sierra Canyon.
The Junior High Delphic League includes Brentwood, Chaminade, Culver City, Harvard Westlake, Oaks Christian, Paul Revere, Sierra Canyon, St. Paul’s, Viewpoint and Village Christian.
Harvard Westlake had won the previous five Delphic League Championships, but the Wolverines were eliminated in the semifinals this season by Sierra Canyon, 8-7. Culver City Middle, meanwhile, went 6-0 in the regular season and beat Village Christian in the semis.
In the championship game at Culver City, the Centaurs led 3-1 at halftime behind three goals from Justin Beighey, but Sierra Canyon came out of the break with three unanswered goals to take a 4-3 lead. The Centaurs’ Caleb Martin found the back of the net on a man-up advantage to tie the game 4-4.
Culver City’s defense, anchored by Ray Sugiyama and Quniten Brunson, allowed few shots on goalie Darius Safavi-Abbassi, who made two big saves early in the fourth quarter, and Gabe Marotti scored early in the period to put Culver City back up by one, 5-4. Sierra Canyon answered, though, tying the game 5-5.
Marotti had a chance to win the game at the end of regulation, but his shot hit the post with seven seconds left.
Sierra Canyon won the face-off to open overtime, but Culver City defender Walker Penchansky knocked down a Sierra Canyon shot, and the ball was awarded to Culver City on a push call. The Centaurs cleared, and Josh Walton Schwartz found a cutting Joey Chabola for the bounce-shot game-winner just more than a minute into the extra period.
Information and photos provided by Culver City Middle School Lacrosse.