Foothill, the no. 3 team in the west, hosted Brighton, Utah, the no. 10 team in the west on Saturday. The Bengals were coming off a tough 11-10 loss to Corona del Mar (no. 7 in the west), and were playing the last of their three games in Orange County. Foothill came away with a convincing 14-4 win. Nathan Skeen lead all scorers with six points (4g, 2a). Kevin Kodzis and Matt Harris each had three goals on the day.
The big story though for Foothill continues to be their defense. For the fourth game in five outings Foothill held the opposition to low single digits, taming the Bengals to the tune of eight goals below their season average. Credit the defense for doing something very few teams have been able to do, contain Bubba Fairman (Maryland). The Knights held the usually unstoppable Fairman to one assist on the day.
Brighton came out in pressure defense, shutting off and playing heavy on-ball pressure trying to force Foothill into turnovers. The tactic proved to be ineffective when Skeen opened the scoring two minutes into the game and scored again 25 seconds later sparked by a ridiculous Ryan Blank save and outlet pass. Blank stuffed a three-fake one-on-one with no one within 5 yards of the shooter before launching the outlet pass.
Defensively, Foothill shut off Fairman and he either stood on the crease or behind the cage. He tried to create offense a few times but George Dalis and the Foothill defense were up to the test with excellent footwork and aggressive slides.
After Skeen’s two goals Kevin Kodzis got one and Ellis Geis followed going top shelf off a Skeen assist. After the first quarter it was 5-2, after the second it was 10-2 and Brighton was done. The final was 14-4 Foothill.
Skeen led all scorers with six points (4g, 2a). Kodzis and Harris (3g, 1a) picked up their hat tricks. Steve Oberley (2g), Geis (2g) and Ryan Foy (1a) completed the Foothill scoring. Blank made six saves.
Noah Lund (2g), Bridger El-Bakri (1g), Hunter Albert (1g), and Fairman (1a) accounted for the Brighton.
Next up: Foothill (5-0) plays Newport Harbor (0-4) on Wednesday. Brighton (2-2) plays Davis, UT on Thursday (3-1).
Devin Arkison was a 3x All American defenseman at Hobart College, and is a member of the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He has coached elite level high school teams and offers private instruction as well. He can be reach at firstname.lastname@example.org for private defensive sessions.