With the final seconds of the first overtime ticking away and the Trinity League championship on the line, Nicholas Parrino directed an inside pass to Ryan You who took care of business and handed No. 4 Santa Margarita the win and the crown.
The Eagles have now won 17 straight Trinity League games and three consecutive league championships dating back to 2016 but none have come even close to matching the drama of this 11-10 instant classic with No. 11 Servite. Down by as many as four goals in the second half, the Eagles clawed their way back into the game to force the overtime
The Friars, who just seem to be getting better and better as the season progresses, began the game with a major chip on their shoulder after losing their first match to the Eagles earlier this season and won critical faceoffs and ground balls in the first half to go up 6-3 over Santa Margarita at the half. Cole Brennan had three goals in the first half for Servite.
“[Charles] Daniels did a great job at the X,” said Servite head coach Tom O’Leary via text message. “[Jakob] Decano stood tall in cage, and [Hayden] Rodenbeck and [Jack] Seals allowed us to keep our offense going.”
The Eagles offense started to click in the third quarter with three goals, but the Friars kept coming with three of their own to maintain a three-goal advantage to go into the fourth. After being up 10-6, things began to change quickly for the Eagles with a big defensive turnover caused by Matt Ury that set up the Eagles run.
“Super competitive kid,” said Santa Margarita head coach Adam Guy. “[Ury] played his butt off, that was a super key.”
Tyler Wrightson was the first to chip away at the Friars’ lead. Then Michael Walsh added two more to bring Servite’s lead to 10-9 Thanks to Parrino’s unassisted netter that tied the game at 10 a side with 2:42 to go in regulation, four quarters were not enough for these two talented Trinity League rivals.
To begin overtime, Servite had possession of the ball and could not capitalize, giving the Eagles their chance after a crucial ground ball was picked up by Jack Allender to set up Parrino’s pass to You for the game and league-championship winner.
“I’m just really proud of the guys and the culture that they kind of set up,” Guy said. “The expectations that they’ve set for themselves is a great accomplishment for this school and this program, and for our guys because I’m really happy for our seniors too.”
Walsh (2 goals, 2 assists) and Allender (1g, 3a) both led the Eagles offense with four points apiece. You (2g, 1a), Parrino (2g, 1a), Wrightson (3g), Quentin Buchman (1g), and Connor Carr (1a) all had offensive tallies from the game Tuesday. Ryan Olsker had a terrific second half with five saves, three of which came during the fourth quarter.
“[Olsker] came up big in that fourth quarter and made some really big saves in the end,” Guy said. “He got into a rhythm and made some really big saves.”
The Friars offensively were led by Brennan’s four total goals and also received offensive tallies from Jack Terrones (2g, 1a), Alex Paz (2g), Carter Bays (2a), Rodenbeck (1g), Zach Williams (1g), and Brian Rusnak (1a). Rodenbeck and seals each caused three turnovers and kept Eagles star Buchman for the vast majority of the game.
“This game needs to solidify that we are a top ten team,” O’Leary said. “As much as it stings we have mentally moved on to Mater Dei, the biggest rivalry in California.”
Both teams will be expected to gear up for the postseason on Thursday. As O’Leary said, the Friars will conclude their regular season campaign against top rival Mater Dei (2-3, 3-14) in Santa Ana, while the Eagles will square off against JSerra (0-5, 6-12).