Defense Pushes No. 18 San Marcos Past Cate, 11-2

The San Marcos Royals, who moved up to No. 18 in this week’s US Lacrosse/MaxLaxLA coaches poll, improved to 8-1 on Tuesday with an 11-2 victory at the Cate School. It was the program’s first win over Cate after three losses in the last two seasons.

The Royals had many chances to break open a large lead early on, but Cate’s goalie and defense kept things close in the first quarter. But San Marcos had some great goals from Dayne Dewan and Mason Zimmerman, who scored two goals each, and Josh Blanchard (3g) in the first half to give San Marcos a 7-0 lead at halftime.

Trey Tank stepped in to face off and was nearly perfect, helping the Royals maintain possession. That possession advantage enabled the San Marcos offense to settle in. Eight of the Royals’ 11 goals were assisted, with Justin Lehman and Isaac Oh picking up two each, and Tank, Zimmerman, Dewan and Max Gaynes each tallying one.

Coach Rick Lehman credited the defense for the win, though, with goalie Ryan Lehman making nine saves and senior defender Cesar Gonzalez earning the game ball.

The Royals haven’t lost since dropping an 11-6 decision to No. 6 Oaks Christian in the season opener and are making a push to earn their first playoff berth. San Marcos takes on cross-town rival Dos Pueblos on Thursday, then plays at Royal on April 13.