Matchup: No. 8 Servite Friars at No. 1 Corona Del Mar Sea Kings 5 p.m.
Servite: Second (Trinity League).
Corona Del Mar: Independent.
Previous Meeting: 12-6 Corona Del Mar over Servite on Mar. 29, 2017. The game was played at Corona Del Mar High School in Newport Beach.
How Servite Got Here: The Friars cruised to a 16-7 win at home over No. 9 Yorba Linda on Tuesday.
How Corona Del Mar Got Here: CDM took care of business at home over No. 16 Huntington Beach, 11-1, on Tuesday.
Players to Watch for Servite:
Jack Terrones (Attack), Donovan Harper (Midfield), Cole Brennan (Midfield), Hayden Rodenbeck (Defense), and Andrew Garcia (Goalie). Expect Joe Wyper to be an X factor, as he is coming off a five-point performance from round one.
Players to Watch for Corona Del Mar:
Sachin Gokhale (Attack), Eric Fries (Attack), Will Favreau (Midfield), Nick Puglia (Midfield), Jordan Pakzad (defense), Brennan Greenwald (defense), and Landon Whitney (defense), and Kyle Cord (Goalie).
Servite is coming off their first ever home playoff game, and their first ever playoff win. They’ve been one of the best stories coming out of Orange County lacrosse this year, going 12-6 on the regular season. The Friars offense, led by captain Donovan Harper, has scored 10 or more goals in seven out of their last 10 games, including Tuesday’s win over Yorba Linda. Watch out for Joe Wyper and Jack Terrones on offense in this one as well.
Defensively, they are led by captain Hayden Rodenbeck. One of the Friars strengths this season has been striking on teams early on both sides of the ball. One key for Servite will be to set the tone defensively and mute Corona Del Mar’s lethal offense early. When the Friars have the ball, they will want to bring pressure to try to penetrate the Sea Kings’ stingy defense.
Corona Del Mar has not lost to an Orange County team since 2015. Coach G.W. Mix always has his team near the top of the rankings in the OC. With a steady flow of top talent and winning teams, CdM’s presence in the late rounds of the playoffs is a regular occurrence.
CdM’s success begins with the defense. A well-coordinated and highly effective team defense is led by long poles Jordan Pakzad, Brennan Greenwald, and Landon Whitney.
Offensively, the Sea Kings have a ton of scoring talent and have multiple players capable of putting up big numbers. Kyle Cord is only a sophomore but he’s been impressive between the pipes. Nick Puglia sets the tone on the dot and gets his teammates the ball early and often (he went 11/11 against Huntington Beach).