No. 4: Peninsula Panthers

The Panthers have gone 22-11 in the last two seasons under Lane Jaffe, making the playoffs each year. That’s a far cry from the 10-24 record over the two seasons before that under Jaffe’s predecessor. This year, it looks like Peninsula might be poised to take another step forward.

The roster boasts a lot of seniors, including a number of third-year starters, giving the Panthers both experience and talent. Senior attack Colton Michel leads the way. The 2014 Bay League Attackman of the Year and All-American selection is committed to D-III Colby College. Senior Brandon Wilson and junior Koby Tseng, both all-Bay League last spring, return to hold down the midfield.

Senior goalie Lance Plonski, first-team All-Bay League last season, anchors the defense, which will be crucial against the schedule the Panthers face. The Bay League is tough enough, but Peninsula also faces the three top teams from the Mission League, as well as Foothill (Santa Ana), last year’s Southern Section champion.

Last year, Peninsula rattled off 11 wins in a row at one point, including the school’s first win over rival Palos Verdes since 2006, before running out of gas late. The last two seasons have been building to this one — can the Panthers capitalize?

Key returning players: Senior attack Colton Michel; senior goalie Lance Plonski; senior middie Brandon Wilson; junior middie Koby Tseng; sophomore LSM Scott Phillips; senior defender Justin Lee; senior defender Russel Wakagawa; and senior defender Cole Lucas.

Key Newcomers: Senior middie Grant Geiger (6-foot-3, 205 pounds), who coach Jaffe says “has put in a ton of work in the offseason and [we] expect a big year from him.”

“Peninsula lacrosse has improved every year for the last three years. Led by a large senior class, the kids now take great pride in our program, and it shows with their enthusiasm and competitiveness in practice. Last year, after losing the first two games, we went on to win 11 in a row and peaked out before the end of the season. This year our goal is to finish strong and avoid complacency.” — Lane Jaffe

Key nonleague games: vs. Crespi, March 4; vs. Oaks Christian, March 7; at Palisades, March 27; at Harvard Westlake, March 20; vs. Loyola, March 26; at Foothill, April 1; at Culver City, April 8.

  • No. 5: Newbury Park
  • No. 6 Oak Park
  • No. 7 Harvard Westlake
  • No. 8 Crespi
  • No. 9 Westlake
  • No. 10: Mira Costa
  • Counting It Down: 15-11
  • Counting It Down: 20-16