Week 4 Games to Watch

League play is opening all across L.A., bringing with it renewed rivalries. Of course, there also are some great nonleague matchups as well. Here’s a look at the games to watch in Week 4:

Palos Verdes (4-1) opens Bay League play at Redondo Union (4-2). It’s the third of six consecutive road games against good teams for the Sea Kings, who won at Harvard Westlake and at San Clemente last week and will visit La Costa Canyon (Carlsbad) and Santa Margarita Catholic (Orange County) later this week.

Crespi and Harvard Westlake renew their Mission League rivalry in Studio City. Last year, the two schools split their regular-season matchups, each winning by one goal, then Crespi knocked off the top-seeded Wolverines 9-7 in the second round of the playoffs. In 2013, the teams also split in the regular season and tied for first-place in the Mission League, with Crespi claiming the tie-breaker and league title on goal-differential. Of course, Harvard Westlake went on to win the US Lacrosse LA championship. And in 2012, Harvard Westlake beat Crespi 8-7 in overtime to sweep the season series and win the Mission League outright. So, yes — it’s a rivalry.

Last year, Westlake (5-0) lost to Newbury Park (4-1) twice, 12-11 and 13-8. The Warriors lost only two other games in going 14-4. The teams finished tied for second in the Marmonte League, behind Thousand Oaks. Neither the Warriors nor Panthers have been truly tested this year (save Newbury’s opening loss at Oak Park), so we should learn something about each of them on Wednesday.

Also Wednesday, defending Marmonte champ Thousand Oaks (3-1) plays host to Agoura (1-2). The Lancers swept the Chargers last year.

In its last game before a long layoff for spring break, Loyola (7-1) visits Peninsula (7-0), which will be playing its third Mission League opponent of the season. So far, that schedule is working out for the Panthers, who beat Crespi at home 10-9, then won 10-9 in overtime at Harvard Westlake last Friday. But Loyola is a different animal, having beaten Crespi 15-8 and Harvard Westlake 16-10 — both on the road. It’s a nonleague game, but the outcome will matter when discussing playoff seeding in late April.

Mira Costa (6-0) also faces a big test this week, when Oak Park (3-3) visits Manhattan Beach on Thursday night. The Mustangs have only one win against a team ranked higher than No. 18 in either the L.A. or O.C. coaches polls (Costa won at Newport Harbor, which was No. 12 in last week’s OC poll). The average score of Costa’s six wins is 14-4. We (and they) will learn a lot when the Eagles come to town. Oak Park averages 12.7 goals per game but allows 11.7. This could be a shootout.

Here’s the full schedule for the week of March 23-28 (via LaxPower.com):

Monday, March 23
Palos Verdes at Redondo Union
Downey at Valencia
Hamilton at Birmingham

Tuesday, March 24
Loyola at Chaminade
Crespi at Harvard Westlake
Malibu at Oak Park
Simi Royal at Birmingham
West Ranch at St Francis
El Segundo at Redondo Union
Cate School at San Marcos
Dunn School at Dos Pueblos

Wednesday, March 25
Palos Verdes at La Costa Canyon
Newbury Park at Westlake
Agoura at Thousand Oaks
Mira Costa at Santa Monica
Calabasas at Oaks Christian
San Marcos at Simi Valley
Downey at Beverly Hills
El Segundo at Glendale
Hawkins at Jordan
Hamilton at Valley Academy

Thursday, March 26
Loyola at Peninsula
St. Francis at Crespi
Oak Park at Mira Costa
Harvard Westlake at Thousand Oaks
West Ranch at Hart
Dos Pueblos at Cate School
Thacher School at Malibu
Huntington Park at Birmingham

Friday, March 27
Palos Verdes at Santa Margarita Catholic
Westlake at Calabasas
Oaks Christian at Thousand Oaks
Agoura at Newbury Park
Simi Valley at Beverly Hills
Santa Monica at El Segundo
Glendale at Valencia
Hamilton at Hawkins
Manual Arts at Jordan
Foothills Christian at Ojai Valley

Saturday, March 28
Foothills Christian at Dunn School
Chaminade at Valencia
Thacher School at Peninsula