NEWPORT BEACH- Sachin Gokhale’s seven-point performance (4G, 3A) led No. 1 Corona Del Mar past No. 8 Servite in a 9-1 win in the second round of the playoffs on Thursday. The Sea Kings, who beat the Friars 12-6 in the regular season, extended their Orange County win streak to 28 games.
Servite’s first quarter goal gave the Friars an early 1-0 lead. However, that was all she wrote for the Friars offense for the remainder of the game. CdM’s relentless ride and stifling team defense went to work and gave the Friars very few opportunities. Goalie Kyle Cord was there when the Sea Kings needed him but Cord only faced three more shots on goal.
“We came out hungry and the defense held the Sea Kings strong for the first half,” said Servite head coach Tom O’Leary via email. “Simple turnovers created extra opportunities for the well trained CDM squad. We, unfortunately, had double-digit turnovers in the first half. It is very difficult to be a threat when you only put a single goal and rely on defense to bail you out.”
While Gokhale led the way for the Sea Kings, Kyle Young contributed a hat trick (3G) and Chandler Fincher (1G), Landon Whitney (1G) and Will Favreau (1A) all got points in the win. Corona Del Mar had six caused turnovers on defense by six different players.
Alec Paz was the only one Friar to get a point with his early first quarter goal. Andrew Garcia had 12 saves in net and the team picked up 25 total ground balls.
Servite went from a 6-13, first round exit in the postseason in 2016 to a 13-7 program in 2017, which included a playoff win Tuesday versus Yorba Linda. O’Leary is proud of his team and is excited about his team’s prospects going forward.
“The program returns its entire defensive core and a very talented young offense,” O’Leary said. “As we stood at [St. Margarets] in 2016 and promised to advance to the second round this year, we stood at CDM this year and promised to advance to the semi’s and further next year.”
The victorious Sea Kings reach Semis Saturday for the sixth consecutive season. They will meet No. 4 St. Margaret’s in post-season play for the third consecutive year. St. Margaret’s denied CdM a trip to the Section Championship game in 2015. The Sea Kings returned the favor last year. Always entertaining when these two teams play.