Two-time defending LA champion Palos Verdes, ranked No. 2 in the latest coaches poll, rallied From a 5-2 deficit after three quarters at Loyola to force overtime on Tuesday, then scored with only seconds remaining in the extra session to knock off the No. 1 Cubs 6-5.
Senior Aidan Westley scored the game-winner on an assist from Austin Lowi. A few minutes earlier, Lowi assisted John Gressett on the tying goal with only a few ticks left in regulation.
That tying goal capped a three-goal comeback for the Sea Kings (6-2), who struggled to generate offense in the face of Loyola’s defense and a stellar game from Cubs’ junior goalie Joe Theuer.
PV, which won its sixth game in a row, was without senior middie Peter Henkhaus, a development that Coach Jimmy Borell didn’t learn until about an hour before faceoff. That and Loyola’s zone defense caused havoc with the PV offense through three quarters.
Loyola (7-2) took an early lead on goals from Mason O’Hanlon and Michael Lira, then stretched it to 3-1 at halftime on the first of two Ryder Mora goals. A JP Hatch score and another from Mora made it 5-2 Cubs heading into the fourth.
At that point, though, something changed. The Cubs would not score again, while the Sea Kings pushed three shots past Theuer to stretch the game to overtime.
Westley had two goals for the Sea Kings, and Lowi had the two key assists. Rizal Smith (1g, 1a), Gressett, Beau Sabosky and Tommy Ruth also scored.
The Sea Kings’ defense had a lot to do with holding Loyola to five goals, including none in the fourth quarter or overtime.
Matt Nagy (4 ground balls, 3 caused-turnovers), Jarrett Jones (4 GBs, 2 CTs), Shane Sharp (4 GBs, 2 CTs), Kyle McBride (3 GBs, 1 CT) and Jack Quinn (3 GBs, 1 CT) continually earned possessions for Palos Verdes.
PV goalie Connor Jongewaard recorded nine saves. One estimate put Theuer’s save count around 15.