Beckman and Jserra faced off Tuesday in an OC battle that had major playoff implications. A fired up Beckman team took it 9-7 with strong performances by a young Patriot team. Max Cody’s performance at the faceoff X and tough defense down the stretch were the keys to the victory.
Prior to game time Beckman Coach Brendan Finnerty felt the faceoffs were key, “If we can get close to 50% we have a shot to win the game.” Considering Cody was going up against Austin “Shack” Shackelford, one of the top faceoff specialists in Orange County, Cody had his work cut out for him. Shack 18-20 earlier in the year vs Huntington Beach. Max Cody was up to the task, winning 10/21 draws.
The first quarter ended knotted 4-4 as the two teams spent most of the quarter trading goals. Matt Karzak and Vincent Cifarelli each netted two for the Lions. Alex Watson, Spencer Thompson, Justin Cheng and Dean Nagel provided the Beckman goals.
In the second half Beckman took a three goal lead at 7-4 with two unassisted goals by Watson, and Cheng’s second of the game, a nasty hitch move that got him to 10 yards out where he buried it. Beckman looked like it had broken the game open with a scored in tight that would have made it 8-4, however a moving pick call gave the Lions life. After two Lions’ goals narrowed the score to 7-6, Emerson Roth came out of the box on a substitution, blew by everyone and fired a bullet stick high to make it 7-7, seemingly taking the wind out of the Patriots sails.
However, Beckman was not to be denied. Kyle Steller scored off a Justin Cheng feed, finishing low and away from close range with 3:32 to play to make it 8-7. The last 3 minutes were very physical and had multiple turnovers by both teams. Finally with 19 seconds left Nagle hit an open net to make the final 9-7.
Maxlax caught up with Max Cody post game to talk faceoffs. ” I wasn’t feeling right the first 3 draws, decided to lazer him on the whistle for the next few and the mixed it up,” stated the sophomore. Patriots goalie Tyler Schweickert had another excellent game.
Next up: Beckman (7-3; 3-0) gets back to Pacific Coast League play with a game against Sage Hill (0-6; 0-3) on Wednesday. JSerra (4-6; 1-0) hosts La Jolla High School on Thursday.
Devin Arkison is a 3X All-American from Hobart College. He is also a member of the New Jersey Lacrosse Hall of Fame. He has coahed elite level high school and works privately with all levels of defense. he can be reached at email@example.com His most recent commits are to Notre Dame, Denver and St Joes.