In one of the more anticipated matchups of the season between the No. 1 team in the West, Torrey Pines (2-0), and the No. 1 team in Los Angeles, Loyola (4-1), it was the Falcons from San Diego who controlled the game with a 13-8 win in Laguna Beach on Saturday. Alex Pistorius (6g, 1a) led Torrey Pines offensively.
The Falcons stepped on the gas quickly, with Teagan Bultman (1g) scoring the first of five goals for Torrey Pines in the frame. Bultman won all seven faceoffs in the first quarter, and Pistorius led the charge with two of the five goals in the frame. The Cubs caught themselves down 5-1 after the first quarter.
The second quarter is when Loyola settled down and began to play their game, but the Falcons were right there with them. Each team scored three goals in the quarter. Owen Gaffney (2g) led the Cubs with two of their four first half goals, but the Cubs still trailed Torrey Pines 8-4 at the intermission.
“The difference in the game is faceoffs,” said Cubs head coach Seth Cohen. “That aspect of the game, put [us] in a hole early. I thought my guys battled back. I’m really proud of them. It proved to be a little to big of a hurdle for us today.”
It was all defense between Loyola and Torrey Pines in the third quarter, but an assist from Alex Horowitz (4g, 1a) to Kaiser Fry (1g, 2a) brought the Cubs to within three after three quarters. We now had a game.
“Alex is a big leader for us on the attack,” Cohen said. “I saw him get a few on the crease over and over again.”
The Falcons got off to a quick start with a fast netter from Blake Erlbeck (4g, 3a) to give Torrey Pines a 9-5 lead with about 11 minutes left in the final frame. Fry responded three minutes later with an assisted goal from Jack Carolan (1a) to bring the game to 9-6.
However, it wasn’t enough for the Cubs, and Erlbeck and Pistorius led the Falcons the rest of the way to give them the 13-8 win. This was Loyola’s first loss on the season, while Torrey Pines won their second game of the season in as many days.
“It was a tale of just runs,” said Falcons head coach Jono Zissi. “We were on a 5-0 run, got sloppy for a little while then picked it back up and made some great plays. It’s our second game, we’re a couple weeks behind the LA teams, so we’re still figuring out some stuff.”
Like Cohen said, the clear difference in the game was at faceoff, where Bultman won 17 of 21 at the dot for Torrey Pines. This set up their offense, which also saw contributions from Christian Rasmussen (1g) and Mason Kohn (1g).
“We kept [Loyola] in the game by turning it over (after faceoffs),” Zissi said. “Loyola did us a bit of a favor today by exposing a lot of our weaknesses for us. This is a good reality check.”
Outside of Gaffney and Horowitz, the Cubs also got a goal Matt Garvey (1g) and a point from Speed Fry (1a).
The Falcons return home to San Diego Monday to face Phillips Andover (MA) and the Cubs will hit the road to take on St. Ignatius on Thursday.