ANAHEIM- In what appeared to be a competitive game early on, No. 8 Servite boys lacrosse put their foot on the gas in a seven-goal second quarter and defeated No. 9 Yorba Linda 16-7 in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday. Joe Wyper’s five points (2G, 3A) pace the Friars.
Tuesday was Servite’s first ever home playoff game, and head coach Tom O’Leary was proud of his team for fulfilling a promise his team made collectively after going down early in the playoffs last season. O’Leary won his first playoff game in seven years at Servite.
“We stood on the field last year at St. Margarets after losing in the first round and promised we’d make the second round and advance this year,” O’Leary said. “So it’s good to fulfill a promise.”
After trading blows with the Mustangs for much of the first quarter, Servite’s offense took over. The Friars scored eight goals in a row from the end of the first quarter into halftime to carry a 10-2 lead into the break. Two more goals by the Friars in the third quarter gave the team a comfortable 12-2 lead into the fourth quarter, but Yorba Linda did not go down quietly. The Mustangs cut the Servite lead to six before a couple of late goals from the Friars, securing the 16-7 victory.
“We came out a little slow again,” O’Leary said. “But we definitely picked up the pace in the second quarter. [Yorba Linda] put another goalie in the third and the kid started to make saves. They started to chip away at the lead a little bit. We changed up the attack to get a little more gritty on the rides, which did well for us.”
Servite was very balanced offensively Tuesday with 10 different scorers, but they were led by and Donovan Harper (3G), who had a hat trick. Jack Terrones (2G, 2A), Brock McClure (1G, 2A), Trent Shimizu (1G, 2A), John Farina-Morelos (2G), Alec Paz (1G, 1A), Cole Brennan (2G), Carter Bays (1G) and Matthew Ellern (1G) all got on the board for the Friars. Andrew Garcia had seven saves between the pipes.
The Mustangs featured six different goal scorers, as Christian Finke (2G), Ryan Henry (1G), Skyler Finke (1G), Anthony Brown (1G), Tyler Krause (1G) and Colin McDonald (1G) all got points. The intensity on the field showed that a rivalry has developed between the two north county programs. The Friars and Mustangs picked up eight team penalties apiece.
“It’s always an emotional game when we play Yorba Linda,” O’Leary said. “They’re right up the road and are kind of a crosstown rival. Some of these guys do live in Yorba Linda.”
Servite will look to unseat and upset top seed Corona Del Mar on the road on Thursday. The Sea Kings defeated the Friars 12-6 on March 29 the last time these two teams got together.
“All roads basically lead through Corona Del Mar,” O’Leary said. “If you want to be the best, you got to play the best.”