The Peninsula Panthers have made the playoffs in each of the past four seasons under fourth-year head coach Lane Jaffe. Last year, the squad went 12-6 and reached the second round, where it fell at fourth-seeded Westlake.
It was quite a run for the Panthers, who have earned a reputation for competing hard, despite often lacking the depth of other top programs.
“Peninsula lacrosse is coming off a year in which the players felt they over-achieved,” Jaffe said via email, “and that is a standard they continually work for. With under 30 kids in the entire program, it is important to get the absolute best from each player.”
Jaffe provided five things to know about Peninsula in the 2016-17 school year:
- Peninsula returns its entire starting defense of seniors Patrick Slaught, Kevin Jones and Ryo Nishimura. In addition, Peninsula returns do-it-all LSM Scott Phillips. “Phillips is one of the best players in LA,” Jaffe said, “and he better be in top shape, as he will rarely come off the field, even when on offense.”
- Peninsula will have a new face in goal, senior Matt Choi, who has improved every year and will also be a captain for the Panthers.
- Offensively, the Panthers will be led senior Kyle Beachboard, who scores goals in bunches. “Beach is deceptive and manages to score goals in all kinds of ways,” Jaffe said.
- Despite losing a lot to graduation, Peninsula is used to be the underdog and relishes that role.
- In the offseason, our focus will be on doing the little things correctly and competing in everything we do.