J Serra Catholic High School avenged last season’s one goal loss to Cathedral Catholic with a come from behind victory over the Dons Monday night in San Juan Capistrano. In a thrilling 13-12 shootout, the Lions scored the first four goals of the game and then five of the last six to claim the victory.
In typical JSerra fashion, the Lions came flying out of the gates and Jake Schleppy (High Point) put his team on the board with a right alley dodge at 11:21 of the first quarter. Goals by James Yanes (Hofstra), Matt Karzak, and Yanes again put J Serra up 4-0 with 4:20 left in the first quarter, and seemingly in control. However it was now time for last year’s Sn Diego section finals to show they can point some on the board too. Morrison Mirer scored the first of his four goals and Dekker Stebel scored two to close out the first quarter 4-3 in favor of JSerra.
The Cathedral hot streak continued into the second quarter when a Mirer rip found the back of the net to tie the game. Yanes then put the Lions back in the lead when he collected a Schleppy pass and finished with a rip of his own. Cathedral’s Preston Stebel closed out the half by finishing a pair of crease cuts to make it 6-5 Cathedral at the intermission.
Logan Olmsted (Colorado Mesa) tied the game early in the second half when he went coast to coast, dodged two defenders and finished early in the third quarter. Unanswered goals by Ryan Fazio, long pole Owen Peterson, and Liam Cavanaugh put the Dons up by three before a Yanes BTB and another Schleppy goal brought the score to 9-8. Then a pair by Mirer gave the Dons an 11-8 advantage heading into the final twelve minutes.
Down by three with only twelve minutes to play, the Lions dug deep and put their full set of weapons on display. Three consecutive Lions goals tied the game at 11. Olmsted assisted on goals to Schleppy and Yanes. Kennedy Solomon (UMBC), Nick Georgagi (Colorado Mesa) and Logan Carroll teamed up to turn a caused turnover into a fast break and a Yanes goal. The J Serra run was temporarily interrupted when Dekker Strebel’s second goal of the game but his team back in the lead at 12-11. Olmsted took matters into his own hands, and apparently looking for charitable contribution deductions before tax day, he came up with his third assist of the quarter when he found Karzak on the crease for yet another tie score. Yanes hit the game winning goal at about the 4:00 minute mark.
Yanes’ six goals led the Lions. Schleppy (3 goals, 1 assist) and Olmsted (1g, 3a) had four points apiece. Karzak scored a pair of goals and Yuta Murata and Hunter Neal each had an assist.
Mirer (4g) led the Dons’ offense. Fazio (1g, 2a) and Dekker Stebel (3g) each had three points for the night. Preston Stebel (2g), Cavanuagh (1g), Peterson (1g) and Cole Wolfson (1a) completed the Cathedral Catholic scoring.