Titans Outlast La Costa Canyon in Defensive Struggle

March is known for close games, tough defensive struggles and great long range shooting between top opponents. But basketball isn’t the only March sport that features this excitement — you can find it in San Diego High School lacrosse as well.

The No. 2 ranked Poway Titans narrowly defeated the No. 3 La Costa Canyon Mavericks 6-5 in a battle of top San Diego teams Friday night. The game featured outstanding defense and goalie play on both sides, multiple lead changes and timely shots throughout the game. At no time did either team have more than a two-goal advantage.

LCC’s Andrew Beacham got the scoring started in the first quarter, but Poway’s Brad Belasco and Matt Letteri quickly got the Titans rolling with unassisted goals to close out that quarter.

Becham hit another shot to tie the score, but then Poway freshman Eli Butler wrapped a sidearm shot into the back of the net, and Zach Hodge scored on an assist from Letteri. Poway led 4-2 at the half.

In the third quarter, the Mavericks converted several Isaac Smith face-off wins into three quick goals to take the lead, and that’s when Poway’s Hodge took over. With Titan scoring leader Nick Beeson sidelined with the flu, Hodge scored his second goal on a rifle shot from 15 yards out, then produced an assist to Belasco for Belasco’s second goal to put the Titans up 6-5 early in the fourth.

The intensity increased once more late in the game as Poway suffered a two-minute, unreleasable penalty with only minutes to play. But a clutch man-down save by Poway goalie Kellan Cuttting and some skillful ball handling by the Titans killed the penalty, and Cutting again shut the door with another great save to close out the game.

The win puts the Titans’ record at 5-1, while the Mavericks fall to 4-2. The Titans take on the Menlo School from Northern California on Wednesday, while LCC will try to regroup on Tuesday against Bishop’s.