Palos Verdes stuns Harvard Westlake with last-second goal

The rain held off just long enough Tuesday evening for No. 2 Palos Verdes (2-0) to defend its home turf and defeat No. 3 Harvard Westlake (1-2) 10-9 in an instant classic. (4g, 1a) sent the home sideline and crowd into a frenzy with his game-winning goal with eight seconds remaining.

“We were all fighting for it,” Smith said. “We saw the matchup we wanted and luckily the ball ended up in my stick and I just went ahead and made the play.”

Landon Smith (right) had an impressive five-point performance, including the game-winning goal Tuesday against Harvard Westlake (Brandon Ross/MaxLaxInc).

The Sea Kings got off to a red-hot start with (1g, 1a) scoring in the game’s first 30 seconds. PV added two more goals within quick succession and built up a 3-0 lead within the first minute. As it would turn out the Sea Kings would need every one of those goals.

The Wolverines showed great poise in recovering and buckled down on defense to slow the Sea Kings. The first quarter ended with PV up 5-2.

In addition to buckling down on defense, the Wolverines, slowed down the game with long possessions. HW scored three of their own compared to a lone goal by Smith in the second quarter to give Palos Verdes a tight 6-5 advantage at halftime.

“We were getting a little frazzled because [Harvard Westlake] had some long possessions,” Sea Kings coach said. “I don’t think we were working as hard for the shot we wanted.”

The Wolverines and Sea Kings both scored once in the third quarter to bring the final frame to an interesting 7-6 beginning.

Harvard Westlake senior (1g, 1a) tied the game at seven aside with 11:15 remaining in the final frame, and two minutes later (1g) gave Palos Verdes the lead right back. (2g) tied the game again with 7:55 to play, and then Harvard Westlake took their first lead of the game off the stick of (2g, 1a) with 2:43 remaining.

With time still to go, the Sea Kings came up clutch in the final minute of the game. (4g) took a beautiful feed from Smith from the back side and netted the game-tying goal in dramatic fashion with 56 seconds left in regulation.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the Sea Kings had no interest in overtime with the threat of rain glooming in the area, and Smith took the rebound off Harvard Westlake’s goalie  and secured the game winning goal with eight seconds remaining.

Wolverines goalie Alex Russell (back right) was impressive in the cage with 17 saves (Brandon Ross/MaxLaxInc).

Defensively, the Sea Kings were led by Neil Randall who corralled eight ground balls and had one forced turnover. Randall also won 14 of 19 faceoffs.

Palos Verdes mixed and matched goalies in the first and second half with Kyle McCann (five saves) and Joey Quinn (seven saves). Borell loved the depth of options he has with his two keepers Tuesday.

“It’s rare in high school to have both unbelievable goalies and young men and great teammates,” Borell said. “So this is one of the unfortunate jobs of a head coach where I got to split halves or play one or the other. But we have two awesome guys.”

(2g, 2a) and (2g) were solid contributors for the Wolverines offensively. Despite the last second goal, Russell was very impressive in the cage for HW with 17 saves.

Palos Verdes will resume action Wednesday when it takes on Redondo Union on the road at 4 p.m. Harvard Westlake will return home Friday with a clash against Santa Margarita Catholic (OC) at 5 p.m.

 

Author: Brandon Ross

Brandon Ross is a Digital Reporter/Editor for Maxlaxoc.com, entering his third year with the company. His experience in Sports Journalism began in 2014 where he served as a staff writer for Orange Coast College's Coast Report, mostly covering Sports. In the Spring of 2016, he moved onto The Daily Titan as an assistant sports editor, covering Division One College Basketball, Baseball, and Softball. He also served as The Daily Titan's "second in command" as the paper's Managing Editor, covering a variety of school and local news as well as help guide a young staff in an election season. During his spare time, he loves to travel and spend time with loved ones. For tips, please email Brandon at [email protected]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *