Late Burst Carries Chaminade Past Newbury

No. 11 Chaminade produced a three-goal burst to open the fourth quarter Tuesday, rallying past host No. 6 Newbury Park and holding on for an 8-7 first-round playoff victory, the Eagles’ first playoff win since 2008. They made the playoffs in 2010 and last year but lost in the first round.

Chaminade (11-7) advances to a Thursday second-round game at Mission League rival Harvard Westlake, which beat West Ranch 14-1 in its first-round game. The Eagles and Wolverines split their games in the regular season, with each winning at home.

Tuesday, Chaminade dominated possession with an 18-2 face-off advantage behind senior middie Mark Galanti, but the Eagles were unable to solve Newbury Park junior goalie Spencer Cabello, who saved 17 shots.

Cabello’s work enabled the Panthers to overcome the face-off disparity and switch the field, and the result was a 2-1 lead after one quarter and a 3-1 lead early in the second. Chaminade tied it 3-3 heading into halftime, and it was tied again 4-4 midway through the third quarter before Newbury moved in front 5-4 heading into the final period.

That’s when Chaminade erupted, scoring three unanswered goals in the first two minutes to take a 7-5 lead with 10:12 to play.

The Panthers wouldn’t go away, though. Senior middie Jack Jensen scored two of his three goals in the final four minutes — the last one making it 8-7 with 2:14 left — as Newbury tried to rally. But Chaminade held on.

The win snaps a three-game losing streak for the Eagles, who had been ranked as high as No. 7 in the coaches poll, right behind Newbury. But those losses dropped them to the 11th seed and sent them on the road for their playoff opener.

With some momentum regained, Chaminade will head to Studio City. The Eagles beat Harvard Westlake 14-9 before the losing streak, but that game was at home. In March, they lost 7-3 at Harvard Westlake.