Spring break has arrived for a number of schools, leaving the lacrosse schedule a little thin this week. But there still are some compelling matchups that should provide some insight into a handful of ranked teams as we look to the second half of the season.
Here’s a look at the games to watch in Week 5:
UPDATE/CORRECTION: Apparently Newbury Park is scheduled to play at Hart on Monday, March 30, and not at Mira Costa, as was listed on LaxPower.com. So ignore what we wrote about the potential Newbury-Costa game.
Newbury Park (5-2) travels to Manhattan Beach to face still-unbeaten Mira Costa (7-0). The teams met in the first round of the playoffs last season, with Newbury blasting the Mustangs 22-6. Don’t think for a minute Costa has forgotten.
The Panthers are coming off two Marmonte League games, one disappointing and one worth remembering. Wednesday, Newbury came a bit unglued in the latter stages and lost to Westlake 11-5. The Panthers were within two at 6-4 with 7:30 to play but suddenly began turning the ball over. The second-chance opportunities led to a Westlake run that squandered what had been a terrific defensive effort to that point.
Two nights later, Newbury’s defense still was on fire, shutting out Agoura 7-0. Now, seven goals isn’t going to impress many people, but Agoura has one of the better defenses around. In fact, high-scoring Thousand Oaks needed overtime on Wednesday to get its eighth goal and beat Agoura 8-7. If the defense remains hot, Newbury could be trouble for Mira Costa.
The Mustangs, meanwhile, had their Thursday game against Oak Park interrupted by a power outage. Costa led 6-3 with 3:05 left in the first half of what was supposed to be three consecutive games against Top 10 opponents. But that one is on hold, to be completed at a later date. Leaving Newbury as the first big complete-game test on the Costa schedule.
After dealing with Newbury on Monday, Mira Costa comes right back Tuesday with a trip to Crespi (5-4). The game originally was scheduled for Wednesday but a Costa scheduling conflict forced the teams to move it up a day. It’s the last game before break for both teams, but Crespi will be the more rested squad and will be playing at home. A quick click through LaxPower.com indicates this will be the first time the schools have faced each other.
Also Tuesday: Oak Park (4-3) is coming off two blowout victories — (19-3 and 18-2) and Thursday’s truncated trip to Manhattan Beach. A visit from Redondo Union (5-3) certainly will get their attention. The Sea Hawks have lost to Palos Verdes, Westlake and Thousand Oaks, all Top-5 teams, and they don’t have a truly signature victory yet this season. Beating Oak Park on the road certainly would qualify.
The battle for early control in the Marmonte League takes place Wednesday at Westlake (7-0, 3-0), which plays host to Thousand Oaks (5-2, 2-0). The Warriors appear to be on cruise control, with their roster at full strength and firing on all cylinders.
T.O. will be the highest-ranked team Westlake has faced, but the Lancers are coming off a bit of an inconsistent week. The needed overtime to beat Agoura 8-7, then lost at home to Harvard Westlake 12-10 and struggled to a 5-5 halftime tie against Oaks Christian. But they appeared to find their high gear in the second half of the game, pulling away for a 12-8 win.
The teams split their two games last year, with Thousand Oaks going on to claim the league title. If the Lancers want to repeat, winning on Wednesday would be a terrific start.
Here’s the full schedule for the week of March 30-April 4 (via LaxPower.com):
Monday, March 30
Glendale at Beverly Hills
Newbury Park at Mira Costa
Tuesday, March 31
Mira Costa at Crespi
Thacher at Chaminade
Cate at Dunn School
Hart at Glendale
Downey at Los Alamitos
Redondo Union at Oak Park
Valencia at St. Francis
Wednesday, April 1
Oaks Christian at Agoura
Dana Hills at Beverly Hills
Calabasas at Newbury Park
Foothill-Pleasanton at Peninsula
Thousand Oaks at Westlake
Thursday, April 2
Foothill-Pleasanton at Chaminade
Valencia at Hart
Amador Valley (East Bay) at Oak Park
Cate at Thacher
Glendale at West Ranch
Friday, April 3
Redondo Union at Agoura
Saturday, April 4
Foothill-Pleasanton at Thousand Oaks
Amador Valley (East Bay) at West Ranch