In an exciting four quarters of lacrosse, the Lions added one more “W” to their record this season (9-2), but this one was special as they topped previously Southern CIF top-ranked Palos Verdes on their home field, 8-7. JSerra decided to play only one game over the spring break and Coach Harrison’s decision paid off. The young Lions squad was given a few days off to relax and enjoy their break. Palos Verdes was the Los Angeles County Champions last year and they started this season where they left off last season. They entered the game with an undefeated record of 9-0, outscoring their opponents by an average of 8 goals per game.
The Lions came out of the box with junior midfielder Brenden Lynch (2 goals, 1 assist), scoring in the first two minutes of the game answered by the Sea Kings senior Team Captain Augie O’Hern (1g, 1a). The rest of the first half was a true battle going into half time tied 4-4. Lions senior midfielder Cole Schleppy (1g), sophomore midfielder Jake Schleppy (2g) and freshman attack Anthony DeMaio (2g, 1a) all putting one in the net.
The Lions defense came out in the third quarter to hold the Sea Kings scoreless, led by junior goalie Jake Henigman, junior defender Tucker Guyot, sophomore defenders Chaz Dotson and Kennedy Solomon and freshman LSM Scott Barger. Sophomore midfielder, Yuta Murata (1g) joined his teammates (Brenden Lynch and Jake Schleppy) by putting one on the board for the Lions in the third.
The fourth quarter opened with the Lions in the lead 7-4. There was no quit for the Sea Kings who fought back hard, with freshman attack Rizal Smith (1g, 1a) scoring one, assisted by senior attack Tony Romeri at 11:24 on the clock. The game remained stalled and scoreless until Stanton Gilbertson (2g) shot from the outside at 1:07 on the clock. This goal was answered by an amazing last-minute attempt by the Lions’ Anthony DeMaio, assisted by sophomore attack Logan Olmsted (1a) to stop the Sea Kings momentum. This did not stop the Sea Kings from pushing for their last goal (Stanton Gilbertson) at 21 seconds left in the game to pull within in one goal of the Lions. Palos Verdes gained possession in the final 20 seconds of the game, called a time out to set up their final play, hoping to tie the game forcing overtime. The Sea Kings came out quickly passing the ball to the intended shooter, but JSerra sophomore Defender Chaz Dotson intercepted the pass and carried the ball up field to run out the last 12 seconds of the game to lock down the win.
JSerra’s offense converted both man-up opportunities, while the JSerra defense shut down both man-up opportunities for Palos Verdes. Lions goalkeeper Jake Henigman had 13 saves and the Lions’ 8 goals were scored by 5 different players.
JSerra travels to Servite on Tuesday at 3p.m., in search of its 10th win overall this season and its third win in the Trinity League.
–Special to MaxLaxOC.com.