OC Boys Lacrosse Countdown: No. 8 Mater Dei

Despite a depleted, injury-filled roster in 2017, the Mater Dei Monarchs had one of their best regular seasons in 2017 with a 12-6 regular season record. Their championship hopes, however, were cut short in the first round of the playoffs against El Toro.

With all of the growth that came out of the program last season under head coach Johnny Rodriguez, there is strong optimism coming out of Santa Ana as the Monarchs look to take the Trinity League title away from Santa Margarita, and as always, contain arch-rival Servite. Let’s meet some of the team as they head into the 2018 season with high hopes and expectations:

Team Captains:
Mike Morsey (left above) – Senior – Defensive Midfield: “Since his sophomore year, Mike has taken the under appreciated D middie position to heart and has become a shutdown d-mid now as a senior. Opposing offenses are always trying to spotlight short sticks to dodge on. Mike is a short stick I can trust against any midfielder in the county anywhere on the field,” Rodriguez said.

Morsey will be attending North Carolina State University this coming fall and plans to major in Engineering, according to Rodriguez.

Matt Kane (center above) – Senior – Midfield: “As the senior class president, Matt has developed into a great leader on and off the field. He will look to bring a healthy amount of contribution to the 1st midfield line,” Rodriguez said.

Matt is hoping to play lacrosse next year at the United States Merchant Marine Academy, according to Rodriguez.

Ryan Binford (right above) – Senior – Defense: “Ryan is a three-year varsity starter and a returning 1st team All-Trinity league defender. He is the general of our defense and will play both close D and LSM this season. He is currently uncommitted,” Rodriguez said.

Meet the Coaches:

Head Coach Johnny Rodriguez (Photo Courtesy: Johnny Rodriguez and Mater Dei Athletics).

Johnny Rodriguez – In his fifth year as a head coach (third at Mater Dei), coach Rodriguez will look to build off his 12-6 season in 2017. “Our boys are hungry. We still have a bad taste in our mouth from the 6-4 loss to El Toro in the first round of the playoffs last season and look forward to another competitive game with them to open up the season next Tuesday.“

Luke Phipps – Mater Dei has added another Salisbury Seagull alumni to the coaching staff this season. Coach Phipps will take over as the offensive coordinator to help improve on the 6.8 goals per game average from last season.

Max Myrick – Coach Myrick will fill the defensive coordinator position for the 2nd year in a row. Myrick was a Torrey Pines graduate before being a four-year captain at Whittier College.

Cade Christiansen – Coach Cade is currently a captain of the MCLA D1 Concordia Eagles and will be helping out with the defense as well as filling his role as the JV Head Coach

Roman Smith – Roman Smith is the starting face-off specialist for the Concordia Eagles. He will help out with the varsity faceoff guys as well as fill his role as the JV Assistant Coach.

2018 Regular Season Schedule:

Date Day Opponent Site Time
2/27/18 Tuesday El Toro El Toro 5:30 PM
3/2/18 Friday Newport Harbor Newpor Harbor 7:00 PM
3/5/18 Monday Santiago Mater Dei 7:30 PM
3/9/18 Friday Trabuco Hills Trabuco Hills 5:30 PM
3/13/18 Tuesday Tesoro Tesoro 5:30 PM
3/15/18 Thursday Brighton (Brighton, UT) Mater Dei 7:00 PM
3/20/18 Tuesday Beckman Beckman 5:30 PM 1:15
3/23/18 Friday Yorba Linda Mater Dei 7:00 PM
3/26/18 Monday Faith Lutheran (Las Vegas, NV) Mater Dei 7:00 PM
3/28/18 Wednesday Golden HS (Denver, CO) Mater Dei 7:30 PM
4/3/18 Tuesday Jesuit (Sacramento, CA) Mater Dei 5:30 PM
4/5/18 Thursday Mount St. Joseph (Baltimore, MD) SMES 5:00 PM
4/10/18 Tuesday Jserra Mater Dei 7:30 PM
4/12/18 Thursday Santa Margarita Santa Margarita 7:00 PM
4/17/18 Tuesday Servite Servite 4:00 PM
4/19/18 Thursday Santa Margarita Mater Dei 7:30 PM
4/24/18 Tuesday Jserra Jserra 7:00 PM
4/26/18 Thursday Servite Mater Dei 7:00 PM

-Johnny Rodriguez contributed to this report.

Brandon Ross
Brandon Ross is a Digital Reporter/Editor for Maxlaxoc.com, entering his third year with the company. His experience in Sports Journalism began in 2014 where he served as a staff writer for Orange Coast College's Coast Report, mostly covering Sports. In the Spring of 2016, he moved onto The Daily Titan as an assistant sports editor, covering Division One College Basketball, Baseball, and Softball. He also served as The Daily Titan's "second in command" as the paper's Managing Editor, covering a variety of school and local news as well as help guide a young staff in an election season. During his spare time, he loves to travel and spend time with loved ones. For tips, please email Brandon at brandonkross92@gmail.com