Aliso Viejo – The Los Alamitos boys’ lacrosse team jumped out to an early lead over Aliso Niguel on Saturday and never let up. The No.12 Griffins beat the No.14 Wolverines 9-7 in a 10 a.m. game at Aliso Niguel High School.
“I’m not one to plan a 10 a.m. game, but you hope for the best when you come into these early games and you try and make sure the guys are awake by the time the game starts,” Los Alamitos Coach Tim Fox said.
The Griffins appeared to be wide awake in the first quarter, as they jumped out to a 3-0 lead. The Griffins continued to hold Aliso Niguel scoreless until the Wolverines began a mini surge at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter. The Wolverines found themselves only down 5-3 at halftime.
The Wolverines’ momentum carried over into the third quarter as they got to within 5-4 and stayed there until late in the quarter. But at the 2:25 mark, the Griffins began to catch fire, scoring three consecutive goals to take an 8-4 lead going into the fourth quarter.
“We just needed to step up on defense in the second half and luckily they were able to hold on in the end,” Fox said.
The Wolverines didn’t go down without a fight, as they got to within 8-6 in the fourth quarter. But a goal from Adrian Rojes iced the game for the Griffins, giving them their second straight win.
Rojes along with Matt Fanelli and Ethan Campos led the way for Los Alamitos (8-5) with three goals. Goalie Cullen Murray had nine saves.
“He’s been on point these last few games. It’s helped us a lot,” Fanelli said of Murray.
For Aliso Niguel (6-4) Nick Braico, Aaron White and Carson Poremba led the way with two goals apiece. Sean Ibarra had one goal, White added two assists and goalie Josh Anappoell had 13 saves.
Los Alamitos (8-5; 3-0) plays a home game against No. 19 Huntington Beach (6-6; 3-2) on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. The game will have important Sunset League and playoff implications. The Oilers can climb into the Sunset League and playoff picture with a win.
Aliso Niguel (6-4; 1-3) plays No. 18 Murrieta Mesa (10-3; 4-0) at home on Monday at 7 p.m in another game that could help shape the playoff picture. The Rams appear to be headed to the playoffs as the Southwest League representative and will want to show that they are undervalued in the coaches’ poll. The Wolverines will want to strengthen their grip on a postseason position.