Following their toughest stretch of the season, six straight games against Top 15 teams, Mater Dei was hoping for a little relief this week. Unfortunately, they will probably have to wait until the offseason for that. Tuesday night they faced the double whammy of the steadily improving Temecula Valley Golden Bears (7-5) and the absence of Adrenaline All American defenseman Nick Bauer (Princeton) who was out with an injury. The Golden Bears are just one example of how the growth of lacrosse in the Inland Empire is raising the quality of play in that area.
The first quarter was an evenly matched game with both squads having long offensive possessions. Temecula Valley was able to get on the board first with an unassisted goal by Robbie Bancroft with six seconds left in the first quarter.
The pace picked up considerably in Q2 with Mater Dei outscoring the Golden Bears 6-4. Jack Southron had two, Jack Irvin, Nick Sando, Brady Burwell and freshman Sean Waterman all had one goal apiece to give the Monarchs a 6-5 lead at halftime.
The see-saw battle continued in the second half with with Temecula Valley clawing their way to a 7-7 before getting hit with a three-minute non-releasable for an illegal stick. The gritty Golden Bears turned the EMO into a MDO (man down opportunity) and scored twice to take a 9-7 lead well into the 4th quarter.
With time getting short, Mater Dei head coach Johnny Rodriguez got a little creative and sent leading scorer Southron to the faceoff x with about seven minutes left in the game. Southron made the big plays his coach was hoping for. In less than 10 seconds he won two faceoffs and took the express train to the goal both times to tie the game. Waterman got one more goal for the Monarchs and then Mater Dei’s goalie, Sean Homsy, who ended the night with 12 saves, was able to fend off a late rally.
Although Mater Dei was only able to get 22 shots off the entire night, the team shot well enough to end the night with a 45% shooting percentage. Southron led all scorers with four goals, both Nick Sando and Sean Waterman had two goals apiece, and Brady Burwell and Jack Irvin each had one.
Temecula Valley was led by Colorado Mesa-bound Johnny Cary (3g, 1a) and Robbie Bancroft (3g, 2a). Chase Pymm (Colorado Mesa) Cameron Chapman and Everett Foley each scored one goal.
Mater Dei will end its season with another string of 4 games against top 15 teams and will host Santa Margarita on Thursday night. Temecula Valley will host El Camino (Oceanside) on Thursday.
Contributed by Mater Dei Lacrosse