Henriksen Helps Huntington Beach Stun Los Alamitos

Los Alamitos – The No.18 Huntington Beach boys’ lacrosse team was on its way to dropping its third consecutive match with less than a minute to play against No.  11 Los Alamitos on Tuesday. The Oilers were down by a goal and Los Alamitos had the ball.  A loss would more than likely end the Oilers’ league title and playoff hopes.

The gritty Oilers responded to the adversity by causing a turnover and putting the ball in the stick of Ayden Colbert.  Colbert (5g, 2a) scored his biggest goal of the night to force overtime.  Kyle Henriksen then made the late game heroics stand up by burying the game-winning goal to give Huntington Beach the upset and revive their playoff and league title hopes.

“in OT, I saw the emotion really carry us, and what we weren’t afraid to do was make one more pass, which was good because that opens up dodges and shooting lanes,” Huntington Beach Coach Ryan Kelaher said.

The Oilers (7-6, 4-2) were led by Colbert who had five goals and two assists. Henriksen and Donnie Shulte had two goals apiece for Huntington Beach while Brandon Womble, Ricky Masters, Tyler Alexander and Cayden Carthey each had one goal. Goalie Grady Mercier had seven saves for Huntington Beach, which beat Los Alamitos for the first time since 2013.

“Kyle [Henriksen] and Ayden [Colbert] were very big for us today,” Kelher said. “I can’t tell you how much I rely on some of the seniors on offense just to calm us down and run the fluid offense.”

The Oilers led 12-11 midway through the fourth quarter, until Los Alamitos tied the game up at 12-12 at the 3:37 mark thanks to a goal from Ethan Campos. Los Alamitos took the lead thanks to a goal from Bronson Ban at the 3:27 mark.

At that point. each time the Oilers would get a good look, the Griffins’ defense forced a turnover. It looked as if the Griffins had the game locked up. All the Griffins needed to do was run down the clock in the final minute, but Huntington Beach came up with a huge steal and goal to even the game at 13-13.

The Griffins almost had a shot to win. Matt Fanelli, who hit the game-winner against Newport Harbor last week, got the ball and a good look in the waning second of the fourth quarter, but the shot sailed high forcing the two teams to go into overtime. After the Oilers won the ensuing faceoff to start overtime, they immediately called time out. After the time out helped, Henriksen fired the ball past the Los Alamitos goalie, lifting the Oilers to victory.

“They [Huntington Beach] just got it done. Huntington Beach worked really hard and they kept fighting until the end,” Los Alamitos coach Tim Fox.

The Oilers, which improved to 2-0 in overtime games, didn’t take their first lead of the game until toward the end of the second quarter. The two teams went into the fourth quarter tied 10-10.

Ban, who played in his first game back after injuring his hamstring last week, led the Griffins with four goals. Campos and Fanelli each had two goals and combined for seven assists. Hunter George, Julian Loe, Trevor Deutsch, Adrian Rojes and Trenton Jones each had one goal apiece. Goalie Cullen Murray had 13 saves for Los Alamitos (8-6, 3-1).

“I think we could’ve played better tonight. I tip my hat to Huntington Beach,” Fox said.

Both teams resume league play on Friday. Los Alamitos plays Edison on its senior night in a game that may have the Sunset League championship on the line at 4 p.m.  Huntington Beach plays Marina on its senior night at 7 p.m.

Teran Rodriguez
Teran Rodriguez has been a member of the MaxLax family for three years (going on four).