Senior middie Stanton Gilbertson stuck an overhand shot just between Crespi goalie Nick Enos’ left foot and the goalpost with seven seconds left in overtime Monday, lifting visiting and No. 1-ranked Palos Verdes to a 13-12 overtime victory.
The goal was Gilbertson’s sixth of the game, and it offset a stellar outing from Crespi senior attack Alex Dixon and nullified a stirring comeback by the Celts, who rallied from a 9-2 deficit late in the second quarter.
Crespi, which was ranked No. 5 in the preseason coaches poll but dropped to No. 10 this week after opening with tough road losses at Thousand Oaks and Peninsula, was playing at home for the first time. Perhaps that helped them find a second wind after PV had burst to an early lead.
The Celts (0-3) made it 9-3 by halftime, then outscored Palos Verdes 6-1 in the third period before tying it 10-10 early in the fourth. Gilbertson put the Sea Kings back in front 11-10 with 8:30 to play, but Dixon scored his seventh of the game to tie it at 11-11 with 3:38 left.
Gilbertson scored his fifth for a 12-11 lead with 2:41 left, but Palos Verdes couldn’t put the Celts away. A turnover and a Crespi clear set up senior middie J.P Harrigan. Coming out of a timeout, Harrigan initiated from up top against a short-stick middie. He dodged right but couldn’t get his hands free for a shot or pass. Instead, he carried through X and wrapped around the crease to stuff in the game-tying goal with 13 seconds to play.
Palos Verdes (1-0) won possession to open the overtime but turned it over with about three minutes left. Crespi ran the clock down close to the 30-second mark but couldn’t get a good look and eventually turned it over, as well, setting the stage for Gilbertson’s game-winner.
In addition to Gilbertson’s six goals, junior Aidan Westley scored three and junior Tucker Frazier, junior Rizal Smith, sophomore Austin Lowi, junior Michael Booth and senior Enoch Park each scored one. Booth also recorded two assists.
Crespi got goals from senior Cam Radenberg, senior Sean Friedmann, junior Jack Doyle, sophomore Dorian Ruh and Harrigan’s late game-tying score in support of Dixon’s seven. Dixon, Doyle, Harrigan, Radenberg and senior Seth Park each picked up one assist.
The first half had been all Sea Kings, as PV built a 4-0 lead that stretched to 9-2 with 4:05 left in the half. The first five of those Sea Kings goals were unassisted, as the Crespi defense struggled to handle the speed of PV’s dodges.