It was no surprise that these two notoriously physical teams come out firing and bring the pressure from the opening whistle.
Two things can happen when teams come out hitting hard and playing aggressive: the aggressiveness can hinder a defense as the defense spreads out letting offense sneak quick goals in, or can throw off an offense who is not quite hitting on all cylinders.
All initial possessions fell into the category of the latter as both offenses seemed a step behind their defensive counterparts. Passes were forced and interrupted as eight minutes went by of ground ball battles and thrown away passes. Finally Evan Ognjanac took advantage of a man up opportunity and Great Oak went up 1-0 which is how the quarter would finish.
Finally the game settled down with the start of the second and Jake Norton buried a rip over the top running sideline to sideline. Right after Ryan Viadero picks up some garbage on the crease where there was nothing the Great Oak defense could do about it. Aggressive defense comes into play again as Weston Gotuzzo jumps a lazy Yorba Linda pass at the top of the box and takes off down the field where Hunter Campbell finishes lefty to even the score at 2-2. Off a timeout Yorba Linda attempted to press out but left Gotuzzo unguarded and wide open on the crease. Off the next Great Oak fast break Alex Cunningham scored a #Top10nominee spinning shovel shot goal to put the Wolfpack up 4-2 going into the half.
The best part of a game as aggressive as this game is how the momentum advantage can change so quickly. It looked almost certain that Yorba Linda would pull within one with 8:30 left in the third but Great Oak goalie Kendall Dizzon comes out of the goal to disrupt the final pass in a well executed fast break. Back the other way, Adam Utter pushes GLE and scores giving Great Oak a three goal lead. A rare penalty on Dizzo was called for his attempt to cause goalie interference, chucking the ball into a Yorba Linda player. Brandon Cypriend would then convert a two-man-up opportunity after a conduct following Dizzo’s penalty would add to the existing penalty.
A Dizzo miscue gave Jack Diederdich an easy one on one finish. This would end the Yorba Linda scoring but came close a few times but thwarted by Dizzo who would turn right around and hit great outlets to lead to a goal from Taylor Dejonge who had been shooting just off the cage all day. Campbell would close out the game with two more as Great Oak finished strong to win 8-4
Stars of the Game
1. Hunter Campbell, Att, Great Oak: The last two goals of the game (and his hat-trick) were incredibly necessary as Yorba Linda fought and scraped to come back until the last minute of the game.
2. Weston Gotuzzo, Mid, Great Oak: Gotuzzo was ultra active in the clearing game that was a main factor in the momentum critical fast paced game.
3. Jack Diederich, Mid, Yorba Linda: Diederich may be the most well rounded player on Yorba Linda and it showed today. Although he only had one goal, he was involved in creating many of the opportunities the Mustangs couldn’t sneak past the Great Oak goalies.
–MaxLaxOC Staff Report