Gritty Panthers Pull Out Close Win at Mira Costa

Peninsula senior Colton Michel (pictured) bounced a shot past Mira Costa goalie John Van Sickle midway through the second overtime period Wednesday, lifting the No. 4 Panthers to a 13-12 win over the No. 9 Mustangs in the Bay League opener for both teams.

“I just saw that I had a shorty on me, so I tried to take advantage,” Michel said. “I did a few moves and saw an open shot, so I took it. I didn’t even know it went in until the people around me reacted.”

Van sickle knew, though: “I felt it hit my foot,” he said. “It was that close.”

Peninsula (11-1, 1-0 Bay) is no stranger to close games. The Panthers beat Harvard Westlake 10-9 in overtime a few weeks ago and beat Crespi 10-9 in regulation on March 4. Last season, with many of the same players, Peninsula had two one-goal victories, including beating nearby rival Palos Verdes 7-6 for the Panthers’ first win over the Sea Kings in 14 games, dating back to 2006.

In 2013, Lane Jaffe‘s first year as Peninsula coach, the Panthers were overtime kings, winning four games in sudden-death — including a four-overtime marathon over Palisades and two double-overtime wins (over Loyola and Redondo Union). Their fourth overtime victory that season? That one came against Mira Costa.

Wednesday, Peninsula overcame an early Costa lead and a late Costa rally to come away with the win. The Mustangs (7-2, 0-1 Bay) took a 4-0 lead early only to have the Panthers tie it at 4-4. Costa took a 7-5 lead into halftime after Tyler Murayama scored off a ground-ball scrum with 12 seconds left in the quarter.

The Panthers didn’t take their first lead until Michel scored with nine seconds left in the third quarter to break a 10-10 tie. The Panthers soon boosted their lead to 12-10, but Costa wasn’t done.

Zane Crandall scored with 3:16 to play to make it 12-11, then Jack Gibbons forced a Peninsula turnover with 35 seconds to play and Crandall hit Casey Bonner in transition for the tying goal with about seven seconds left in regulation.

Koby Tseng scored three goals to lead Peninsula, and Brandon Wilson, Grant Geiger and Michel each scored two. Caleb Smith and Kyle Beachboard also scored.

Costa received four goals from Crandall, two from Ryan Gustafson and one each from Sam Dunbar, Nick Coons, Hayden Frye, Maruyama and Bonner.

Information provided by Court Crandall, Mira Costa Lacrosse.