The Newport Harbor boys’ lacrosse team visited San Clemente on March 1 for a season-opening Top 10 showdown. The highly anticipated matchup between the #7 Sailors and #5 Tritons did not disappoint.
Newport Harbore broke the ice at 9:18 into the first, with a Joe Fuller assist to Dane Flinn. San Clemente responded five minutes later, as David Howren found Branden Wilson to tie the game. From there, scoring see-sawed until 4:49 remaining in the half. San Clemente LSM Omeed Farhadi flashed impressive stick skills by converting a caused turnover into a solo goal. SC’s Sander Lush followed seconds later, turning his faceoff win into a solo score. A minute later, Wilson found Kieran Regan at the crease for a quick-stick goal through the 5-hole, putting SC up by 3. As the half ended, momentum was firmly on the Triton’s side.
But momentum is a fickle phenomenon. By the end of the third, NH was again within one goal, after solo shots by Kyle Duffy and Flinn. The Sailors refused to let this game get away.
It was a wild, action-packed ride to the finish. A Nick Lemus (Air Force) assist to Austin Nix put the Tritons up by two. Chandler Pearce responded with a solo shot for Newport Harbor. Clinging to a slim one-goal lead, the Tritons found themselves in a man-down situation for two of the last three minutes. Stalwart defensive play from SC’s Farhadi, Caleb Bozarth, Ryan Crawford and goalie Austin Boyer (Cleveland State) kept the Sailors from forcing the game into overtime. Final score: San Clemente 6, Newport Harbor 5.
Six different players scored for the Tritons: Wilson, Farhadi, Lush, Regan, Nix and freshman Liam Nelson. Howren, Wilson and Lemus pitched in with assists. Farhadi was all over the field, picking up 5 ground balls. Lemus and Bozarth scooped up 4 gb’s each. Goalie Boyer notched 7 saves, including 4 in the fourth quarter.
For the Sailors, Flinn led the way with 2 goals. Duffy and Chandler Pearce added one goal apiece. Fuller had 2 assists. Chandler and Alex Pearce snagged 4 ground balls each, with Fuller picking up 3. Goalie John Jasper notched 7 saves.