The Los Alamitos boys lacrosse team got past an energetic and motivated Edison team Wednesday, winning 9-7 at Edison High School.
The real heroes for the Griffins arguably were those that didn’t score, as goalie Guido Cuccia (pictured, left) made 11 saves and Daniel Kees scooped up seven ground balls to anchor the Griffins’ defense. Cade Poe (pictured, middle) won 17 of 22 face-offs for the Griffins.
“We definitely brought it together toward the end of the game, but we’re a much better team,” Anderson said.
Los Alamitos fell behind 1-0 in the first quarter and didn’t register its first goal until the 1:50 mark of the quarter. But the Griffins added another goal late in the quarter, taking a 2-1 lead into the second quarter.
The Griffins led 3-1 at one point, but the Chargers pulled even. Los Alamitos then scored two goals, the first coming on an extra-man opportunity, and the second on an empty net, giving them a 5-3 lead going into halftime.
After Los Alamitos scored the first goal of the second quarter to extend its lead to 6-3, Edison tried to claw its way back into the game, scoring two consecutive goals. The second goal came off an interception from Mason Briggs and cut the Griffins’ lead to 6-5. But Los Al added a goal from Kozachenko, who scored as he was falling down, to extend to a 7-5 lead.
The fourth quarter saw the Griffins score first and the Chargers answer back, making the score 8-6. The Chargers made the score 9-7 at the 4:28, but were unable to get closer as the Griffins kept the ball away from the Chargers long enough to get the win.
“It wasn’t perfect, but we got the job done,” Shean said. “The defense really saved us honestly. The offense wasn’t doing their job at the start of the game, but the defense kept us in it.”
Paul Hallstrom led the Chargers with three goals, and Tyler Timmins scored two. Briggs and Drake Choi each scored once for the Chargers, who got five first-half saves from Matt LaFerrier and three second-half saves from Hunter Whalen.
“We had a lot of little mistakes,” Chargers coach Dieter Nemes said. “We stopped them quite often on defense and were trying to clear the ball, and we lose the ball, so they [Los Alamitos] got an extra possession. We’re right there; we’re on the cusp. Our goal is to make the playoffs in program history, and we’re trying to push that idea. We’ve challenged every team that’s above us.”
Nemes highlighted the defensive play from Briggs, who for the most part was defending Shean.
Both teams return to action on Saturday. The Griffins (7-6, 4-2) play at No. 6 Santiago at 3 p.m., while the Chargers (8-5, 3-3) play Norco at home at 11 a.m.