The fatigue of victory seemed to grip visiting Foothill High against its most formidable opponent so far this season, La Costa Canyon High, which pushed around the Knights for a 3-0 first-quarter lead and only was caught in the closing moments of the first half for a 3-3 tie. But Saturday became a second-half Foothill game as the Knights won for the 37th time in its past 39 games, 10-7.
Junior attack Nathan Skeen scored three times in the opening five minutes of the second half; once off a steal and pass by defensive long pole senior standout Danny Carter and another on a sprawling tip-in off a body block by La Costa’s effective senior goalie, Ben Fredricks (Hartford). Skeen’s first goal of the quarter, a perfectly placed shot into the top corner of the net, gave Foothill a lead it would not lose, 4-3.
That left junior attack/midfielder Kevin Kodzis (Holy Cross) to spread the lead in the five-goal third quarter. First he spun around a defender for an inside pass to freshman attack Ellis Geis for a score near the crease. When Kodzis spun around another defender for an unassisted goal at man-down, the Knights had the lead they needed, 8-4, with 2:17 left in the quarter.
La Costa Canyon had one more chance when Jack McKeon scored with 7:49 left in the game to close the score to 8-6. But Foothill’s Austin Babb (Ottawa) won the ensuing face-off, raced down the field and scored. Midfielder Cole Fergus sprinted through two defenders for a goal less than a minute later and at 10-6 with 7:21 left, there was little La Costa Canyon could do. Especially against Foothill goalie Ryan Blank (St. John’s). The junior had another outstanding game, making half of his 12 saves in the deciding third quarter and two more back-to-back late in the game.
Kodzis tied Skeen with three goals. All-American attack Nate Marano (Denver) had two goals. Attack Drew Boyd and Carter had assists and Geis added a goal and two assists.
Rarely does another Foothill game end without the complete work of senior long pole defender Spencer Davis (five ground balls and two forced turnovers) and LSM junior Jared Copeland (four ground balls and two forced turnovers). Along with Carter and senior long pole defender Matt Marano (two ground balls and a forced turnover), Foothill has had enough on that side of the field to change the pace of games. Including this one. They were supported by junior defensive middies Nathan Knight (three ground balls) and Chris Reem (two forced turnovers).
For La Costa Canyon, McKeon, Garret DeLeon and Jack Keen all had two goals. Jason Mummau added another.