Junior midfielder Donovan Bolanos scored the first of his two goals less than two minutes into the game Wednesday, and Valencia never relinquished the lead in defeating preseason No. 14 Redondo Union 16-13.
The Vikings led 3-1 after one quarter, 7-4 at the half and stretched to 14-7 entering the fourth quarter. The Sea Hawks narrowed the gap to within two with just under two minutes to play, with Josh Bettger scoring four of his five goals in a seven-minute span.But Valencia sophomore midfielder Jarren Carr restored the three-goal cushion with 19 seconds remaining, and the Vikings closed out the opening-game win.
“This was a true team win and showed us a glimpse of our capabilities down the road,” first-year Valencia coach Nolan Godfrey said. “By no means did we play a perfect game, actually far from it. We go into each day demanding that all our player display focus, urgency, enthusiasm and their love for the sport, and we certainly used those ingredients for success [Wednesday]. We look forward to a very challenging schedule ahead and are entering each day with that same fuel for success.”
Valencia out-shot Redondo 44-24 and won the ground-ball battle, as well, 34-26. Most telling, though, was the Vikings’ dominance at the faceoff dot. Valencia won 25 of 33 faceoffs, with sophomore Josh Vizcarra winning 22 of 29 (and also scoring a goal and recording seven GBs) and freshman Evan Dean going 3-for-4 with two GBs. Junior goalie Adam Cowan finished with seven saves.
A total of nine players scored the 16 Valencia goals, with 11 of them assisted. Player of the Game was sophomore midfielder Garrett Hixon, who contributed two goals and an assist to go along with five GBs and stellar defensive play between the boxes. Also scoring for the Vikings: Junior attack Brendan Barry, 4g, 1a; sophomore middie Noah Swigert, 1g 4a; junior attack Alan Lin, 2g, 2a; sophomore attack Lucas Propst 2g, 1a; Hixon 2g, 1a; Bolanos 2g; J. Vizcarra 1g; sophomore middie Tyler Thorne, 1g; Carr 1g; senior middie D. Vizcarra 1a.
Bettger and Preston Faecher each had five goals and assist for the Sea Hawks.
Information and photo supplied by Valencia Lacrosse.