Corona Del Mar Lacrosse is a staple of Orange County lacrosse. CDM also has no secrets. Through the years they remained silent through the regular season, dominating pretty much every game they play on their schedule. CDM (15-2 last year, lost in CIF Southern Section semifinals to JSerra) also doesn’t employ very much run and gun play, not trying to rely on a single few players to make important plays. Instead, CDM is a disciplined and honest team. They do the same thing every year, but they do it with confidence in Coach GW Mix’s knowledge and systematic implementation. This is why they are a staple of OC lacrosse. But perhaps The Sea Kings need to change things up if they want to reclaim the title they earned two years ago. One thing is for sure, this team has the same almost-completely-certain guarantee that it can put its head down and execute the system; no doubt this tradition of winning has worked in the past.
What We Know
Corona Del Mar has seen success at offense for years. Ryan and Casey Mix, Michael Keasey, Noah Molnar, and Jack Ortleib, are all in the CDM Offensive Hall of Fame. Despite this storied success, this year’s squad relies heavily on its robust defense. Brothers Hugh and Hoyt Crance are joined by Brett Greenlee to create OC’s scariest defense. All three players are committed to Division 1 programs; Hugh (defense) is set to go to Notre Dame, Hoyt (goalie) to Yale, and Brett (defense) to Denver. Yes, those are all Top 20 programs.
CDM also returns the All-County face off specialist of 2014 and Brown commit, Jason Simaan. Simaan’s dominance is crucial to CDM’s success, as the last few years have showed OC lacrosse fans, face-offs win games. However it is a competitive market out there for draw men, as Ryan Harisch (St. Margaret’s) and Austin Babb (Foothill) look to take back the title of top face off men. This game within the game is very crucial for any team that wants to win.
With all the attention that the vaunted defense receives, the Sea Kings’ offense tends to fly under the radar. Do not be lulled into underestimating the CDM offense; they are an extremely proficient group capable of putting up big numbers. Simaan will get them the ball and they will know what to do with it. The Sea Kings share the ball as well as any team in the County. Don’t be surprised if Stephen Von der Ahe, Noah Howe, Ben Palitz, Nino Chavez, Sherwin Gersten, Max Kline, Jordan Greenhall, and one or two others finish the season with games of three goals or more. The Miami Dolphins’ No-Name Defense carried them to Superbowl championships in the 1970s. CDM’s No-Name Offense just might bring the Southern Section crown back to the coast in 2015.
New To The Scene
While CDM often produces heroes who step up later in their careers, the program has begun to foster younger talent at a quicker age. The Crances and Greenlee are examples of players who showed early on that young guns can run with the big boys. This year two sophomore defensemen look to make a serious impact. Brennan Greenwald and Jordan Pakzad are sophomore defenders who were moved up to varsity last year as freshmen, and no doubt learned from the older defenseman on the team.
Based off their highlight tapes, they seem likely to develop and fit right into the roles that Hugh Crance and Brett Greenlee will leave open once they graduate this year. Greenwald seems to have a knack for offensive prowess, whipping out a behind the back assist that led to a goal. He is also the prototypical take away LSM, baiting his man into thinking he has Greenwald beat, only for Greenwald to unleash a killer and effective trail check. Pakzad seems to be a much more upfront and intimidating down low force. He won’t opt to give his man any room at all, instead laying the wood constantly with lethal and hurtful checks.
A Proven Staff
CDM has had a consistent coaching staff through much of the last half-decade, and the continuance of this group will only bolster The Sea Kings’ success. The legendary Head Coach GW Mix (Penn, Franklin and Marshall) is flanked by several assistant who all know and believe in the CDM system. Jeremy Sieverts (Maryland, Denver Outlaws) brings a heavy offensive prowess, while being flanked by Outlaws teammate Noah Molnar. Molnar was a CDM alum who went on to have an illustrious enough career at Lehigh to be put on a Pro Lacrosse Roster. Devin Arkison (Hobart), Andy Chalupa (Pfeiffer) and Tim Cassi (Kings College) round out the staff.
Games to Watch
The Sea Kings play an Independent schedule and have loaded up again this year. They’ll travel to San Francisco over Spring Break to play Marin Catholic and Bellarmine Prep, and will face OC powers St. Margaret’s, JSerra and San Clemente, LA power Harvard-Westlake and San Diego’s Torrey Pines and LaCosta Canyon.