With Mother Nature’s cooperation, the Adrenaline Challenge in Del Mar was the perfect venue to kick the 2014 lacrosse season into high gear on Saturday. It was a classic Southern California January day with cloudless skies and temperatures in the low 70s. Led by FCA High School Silver and the OC Kings Purple, several Orange County teams made the most of the day by earning high seeds for Sunday’s playoff round. Both FCA and the Kings finished Saturday with perfect 3-0 records to earn the the #2 and #3 seeds, respectively, in the ADRLN Elite Division. Coach Mike Ansel’s Rip City squad also put themselves to take home an Elite Division crown as they entered the playoff round with a 2-1 record and the number 6 seed. 3D Select OC and the OC Kings Elite Gold are looking strong in the STX Elite division with the #3 and #6 seeds, respectively. Following is a recap of Saturday’s action.
Rip City vs. Project Missouri (PROMO)
Rip City gave up an early 1-0 lead when an errant pass on a clear found a PROMO attackman who scored easily to tie the game. Rip City bounced back quickly as Paddy Fallon (St. Margaret’s Episcopal School) beat his defender cleanly from X to give Rip City the lead 2-1. Fallon kept the momentum going with two more goals to finish the first half with a hat trick. Taylor Johnson (Huntington Beach High School) and Sage Devault (Tesoro High School) assisted on the final two Fallon goals to give Rip City roars a 4-2 halftime lead.
Bellarmine-commit Austin Streeter (San Clemente High School) started the second half scoring frenzy as he took it to the rack on his own giving Rip City a commanding 5-2 lead. A two-goal PROMO run was suppressed by Sonoma State-bound Nick Southron (Mater Dei High School) who finished on the run with a perfectly placed rip in the bottom left corner. Goals by Nick Matzek (Foothill High School), Connor Reed (Aliso Niguel High School), and Southron capped off Rip City’s scoring as they cruised to a 9-6 win. Jackson Browner (Los Alamitos High School) had an outstanding game in the cage for Rip City.
OC Kings Elite Purple vs. Fog City A (St. Ignatius Preparatory School)
One of the most anticipated matchups of the tournament featured NorCal powerhouse Fog City aka St. Ignatius Prep and the OC Kings Purple Elite. The game lived up to the hype as the Kings came back late in seesaw battle to preserve the win. With the game tied at 7-7 with about four minutes to go Hofstra commit James Yanes (JSerra Catholic High School) put the Kings up by one, and in control of their destiny. However, Fog City quickly responded with a goal that bounced off of goalie Hank Lewis’ (Foothill) foot to bring the two powerhouses even at eight apiece.
Future Boston University Terrier Hayden Ruiz (Santa Margarita Catholic High School) then demonstrated why he is one of the major players to watch this year as he broke away from the pack in the middle of the field to feed the future pride of the Hofstra Pride, Mitch Kingsley (JSerra), who put the Kings up by one at 9-8. With the clock running down, Fog City pulled their goalie but it was to no avail as Brett Greenlee (Corona del Mar High School) controlled the face-off and the Kings scored on the empty net to seal a hard-fought 10-8 win. Greenlee played exceptionally well and was a constant topic of conversation in the recruiting circles.
3d Select Orange County vs. New Wave Tesla (Ill.)
3d Select started out slowly as the visitors from Illinois jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first fifteen minutes. In the last two minutes Andrew Kofoed (Santa Margarita) and Blake Warner (Tesoro) scored back-to-back to pull 3d within one at the half.
A few huge stops by Michigan-commit goalie Gunnar Garn (Tesoro) gave 3d the chance to keep the comeback hope alive in the second half. Micah Willis (Huntington Beach) and Cole Spooner (Tesoro) took advantage of the extra chances provided by Garn and tied the game at 5-5. With a minute to go Warner (Tesoro) put away the game winner to give 3d Select Orange County the 6-5 victory.
OC Kings Elite Gold vs. NorCal Elite (NorCal Braves)
Ryan Blank (Foothill) fought of an early surge by NorCal with with impressive back-to-back that prevented this game from getting out of hand early. Unfortunately, the third time was the charm for NorCal as they finally stuck a goal from the crease to open the scoring. Blank would get his revenge by transforming from goalie to a one-man clear, and feeding ghigh school teammate Drew Boyd (Foothill) who evened the score 1-1. Max Kline (Corona del Mar High School) then finished off an unsettled situation, and the Kings were off and running on scoring spree that gave them a 4-1 lead.
Goals by Chris Reem (Foothill), Zach Taylor, Bailey Bezich (Foothill), and Sam Slobom rounded out the scoring as the Kings Gold cruised to an 8-3 win. LSM Jared Copeland (Foothill) was a disruptive force throughout the game, and impressed with his quick footwork and aggressive play in the middle of the field.
Paddy Fallon was the most talked about player on the sidelines at every game he played. Friday he had five goals and tallied four goals against PROMO’s D1 committed goalie. A combination of great stick handling in close quarters, rips from outside, and all-out hustle during the ride left coaches frothing at the mouth.
Brett Greenlee was a force between the lines. His over-the-head take away with minutes to go against Fog City may have saved the game.
–MaxLaxOC.com Staff Report