LAKE FOREST- No. 7 El Toro defended their home turf in the first round of the playoffs, defeating No. 10 Mater in a low scoring 6-4 affair on Tuesday. The Chargers have officially moved onto the OC quarterfinals, while the Monarchs, who made the postseason for the first time since 2014, had their season ended with the loss.
Sean Waterman and Nick Sando got the Monarchs off to an early 2-0 lead in the first quarter, however, El Toro tied the game with two of their own to end the frame. Two unassisted goals by Jack Irvin gave Mater Dei a 4-2 lead at halftime.
The third quarter was all El Toro, who scored four unanswered to give the Chargers a 6-4 lead. Connor Kentros had two goals in the third and was a big factor in helping secure the win. No scoring from either side occurred in the fourth quarter, which secured the 6-4 win and a second round appearance for the Chargers.
“Our youth and inexperience on the offensive side of the ball hurt us today especially in the second half,” said Mater Dei head coach Johnny Rodriguez via text message. “It’s hard to win when you can only get four on the board.”
El Toro was led offensively by Kentros (2G, 1A) and Tyler Collins, (2G, 1A). Parker Matthews (1G) and Jared Vlach (1G) rounded out the scoring attack for the Chargers. AJ Sherer had seven saves in net. Collins is shown scoring below.
Irvin (2G), Waterman (1G) and Sando (1G) provided the offensive output for Mater Dei. Sean Homsy had six saves in net and tallied three ground balls. Despite the early playoff defeat, Rodriguez was excited for the Monarchs future potential heading into next year.
“I’m very proud of our seniors for leaving their mark on this program,” Rodriguez said. “Their character has helped establish a very bright future for Mater Dei Lacrosse.”
The victorious Chargers will square off with league rival No. 2 San Clemente on Thursday.