Loyola Heads Into Break Riding High

The top-ranked Loyola Cubs wrapped up the first half of their season Thursday with a 13-5 win at No. 4 Peninsula and now head into a 12-day layoff for spring break in good position for a run through April to May’s US Lacrosse Southern Section playoffs.

After suffering its first loss a week ago at Orange County powerhouse Foothill, Loyola bounced back this week with wins over Mission League opponent Chaminade and Bay League contender Peninsula. But it was Thursday’s win that had coach Seth Cohen feeling good about the rest of the season.

“It was a good one for us,” Cohen said via text message. “We played really tight against Foothill and didn’t really rebound well against Chaminade, so it was good to see us put it all together against Peninsula.”

Cohen said the Cubs “didn’t play with a ton of fire” against Chaminade, but they came out red hot against Peninsula. Loyola led 5-0 after one quarter and 10-2 at halftime against the previously unbeatenPanthers (7-1).

Per usual, the deep Cubs roster put a number of players in the scoring column: Sean Smith and Jonathan Partamian each had two goals and two assists, as did freshman attack Wes Priestly, who started in place of a regular who missed a film session; Nate Mohler scored four goals; Harrison Mac had two goals and an assist; Mike Lira had a goal, and JP Hatch and Ryder Mora each had an assist.

And if it wasn’t enough to have that many capable scorers, Loyola also has sophomore Joe Theuer in goal. He recorded 13 saves against Peninsula, keeping in check an offense that had averaged nearly 15 goals through its first seven games.

“I get excited about our ‘O’ production,” Cohen texted, “but it’s great having a star goalie to clean up our mistakes.”

The Cubs return to the field April 7 at home against Aliso Niguel (5-3), currently ranked No. 9 in the US Lacrosse/MaxLaxOC poll. They then play at Rancho Bernardo (San Diego) before heading into the second round of Mission League play. The big one on the schedule, though, is an April 27 visit to Palos Verdes, the defending L.A. champion and current No. 2 behind Loyola in the coaches poll.