Drew Anderson (pictured left) scored seven goals to pace the Los Alamitos boys lacrosse team to a 16-8 win over Newport Harbor on Friday at Newport Harbor High School. The game in the Sunset League opener for both teams.
With Troy Kennedy, the Sailors’ long stick midfielder, guarding Shean for the most part, Anderson saw the opportunity to have a big night.
“We knew going in that after Ed’s eight goal performance that they were try to lock him off or at least try to contain him, so our offense had to work hard. The game plan was to make sure everyone else was involved,” Cunniffe said.
The Griffins executed Cunniffe’s plan perfectly with five other Griffins contributing to the point total. Sean Park (pictured right) added four goals while Luke Glowaki chipped in two goals. Ed Shean, Connor Engel and Cory Bergmann each found the back of the net once for the Griffins. Goalie Trevor Partlow (pictured middle) made sure those goals were enough with 11 saves.
“I think the keys of the victory were the little things, our groundballs play, our clears defense bodying up and just being calm on offense went to our favor,” Griffins coach Matt Cunniffe said.
Logan Atkins and Paul Jensen led the Sailors with two goals each while Will Patterson, Owen Brosnan, Luke Barnes and Charlie Durante each chipped in one goal. Jerome Snyder made six saves for Newport Harbor.
The Griffins never trailed in the contest as they opened the game with the first two goals of the quarter courtesy of Anderson and Glowaki. Newport Harbor didn’t shy away from the challenge and Brosnan capped off an eventful first quarter when he tallied to give the Sailors a 4-4 tie with three quarters left to play. as despite having scored its first goal 6:48 into the quarter, its second goal came a little over a minute after, with Barnes finding Jensen to tie the score at 2-2. With the Griffins leading 4-3, Brosnan scored the equalizer to cap off an eventful first quarter,
The second quarter saw Los Alamitos dominate possession more and make the most of it on offense. Goals from Park, Glowaki and Anderson helped the Griffins walk into halftime with a 7-5 lead.
“After the first quarter, we held our own until halftime. Our offense has been struggling and they finally started clicking. We had no answer for them [Park, Shean and Anderson]. We tried everything, but their speed and their stick work was definitely better than ours,” Sailors coach David Todd said.
Goals from Engel and Anderson helped Los Alamitos take a 9-5 lead in the first four minutes of the quarter, but Patterson responded for Newport Harbor, making the lead 9-6. After the Patterson goal, the Sailors could no longer keep up. Anderson scored two straight goals and Park followed that with a behind-the-back goal to put Los Al up 12-6 and the Griffins continued to pull away until the final whistle.
Under the existing CIF format, the top three teams from the Sunset League automatically qualify for the playoffs. The Sailors still like their chances.
“We plan on being top three [in the Sunset League]. Our offense improved tremendously and they’re starting to get their swagger back,” Todd said.
Next up for the Griffins (4-3), a second matchup at home against Palos Verdes on Monday at 6 p.m. For the Sailors (3-9), they have a matchup next Saturday at 4:30 p.m. against a team named the Sea Kings as well, except their opponent is Corona Del Mar and their matchup will be Battle of the Bay.