Host Palisades, ranked No. 11 and seeking its first win over a Top 10 opponent, rode a 10-0 scoring run over the second and third quarters to build a 14-8 lead Thursday, then held off a furious rally by No. 10 Mira Costa to claim a 15-13 victory.
It was the first time the Dolphins (9-4) had beaten the Mustangs (8-4) in three seasons, and it was Pali’s first win over a Top 10 opponent this year after previous losses to Harvard Westlake, Chaminade, Westlake and Agoura.
Mira Costa very nearly joined that list, jumping out to a 7-3 lead after one quarter and seeming poised to control the tempo.
But Milo Sherman, the Dolphins’ sophomore face-off specialist, found his rhythm, and Palisades rattled off five unanswered goals in the second quarter — two from senior Macchio Rissone — to lead 9-8 heading into halftime.
The Dolphins’ run continued after the break, with Alessandro Caso capping the third quarter with a dunk on the crease to push Pali’s lead to 14-8.
Costa finally found some offense, though, scoring for the first time since early in the second period, the ripping off four more to pull within 14-13 in the final minute. With the Mustangs scrambling for a take-away and an opportunity to tie, Pali’s Aidan Caso scored an insurance goal on a feed from Rissone for the final margin.
Allesandro Caso and Jack O’Rourke scored for goals each for the Dolphins. Rissone led the team with five points on three goals and two assists, and Aidan Caso had two goals and two assists. Sherman finished with 15 face-off wins.