Bobby Gavin of Laguna Beach and Chandler Fincher of San Clemente capped off their Thanksgiving weekends with a Palm Desert Lacrosse Classic Championship. Playing on Team NinjaLax, the two locals played key roles on a team that dominated the competition with a perfect 5-0 record while outscoring their opponents 52-11. Gavin was strong in net all weekend for Ninjalax sporting a 2.2 GAA. Fincher was an offensive standout.
Comprised mostly of West Coast Starz 2020 players hailing from California and Oregon, NinjaLax showed their familiarity with each other by finishing day 1 with a 3-0 record while outscoring the competition 32-7. That performance earned them the #1 seed heading into Saturday’s playoff round.
Matched up against Bunch Nation in the semi-finals, Ninjalax cruised to a 13-2 win after conceding the first 2 goals of the game to set up a rematch with a talented Mad Dog West team in the championship game. However, Ninjalax again proved to be too much to handle for the Dogs, capturing the championship with a 7-2 win.
Throughout the weekend Ninjalax displayed a high pressure, aggressive style of defense anchored by Shane McAusland (Manhattan Beach, CA), Brandon Clark (Palos Verdes, CA), Christian Evans (Carlsbad, CA) and Conrad Delgado (Rancho Santa Fe, CA).
Offensively, the team looked to push transition and capitalize on their athleticism but also showed the ability to possess the ball and create goals through settled situations when desired. In addition to Fincher, offensive standouts included Chop Gallagher (Beaverton, OR), Christian Rasmussen (Del Mar, CA), Miles Botkiss (Rancho Santa Fe, CA), Jackson Doolin (Rancho Santa Fe, CA), Chandler Fincher (San Clemente, CA) and Thomas Notarainni (Rancho Santa Fe, CA).