Westlake Jumps on Wolverines Early, Wins 16-11

Conor O’Brien (pictured) scored all four of his goals in the second period Thursday, leading a Westlake barrage that appeared intended to prove a point.

The No. 5-seeded Warriors routed No. 4 seed Harvard Westlake 16-11 in the US Lacrosse L.A. quarterfinals at Harvard Westlake, but that score is deceptive. Westlake led 6-0 afte roone quarter, 11-4 at halftime and stretched it to 16-5 early in the fourth quarter.

It was almost as if the Warriors (16-1) wanted to prove that they should have been No. 4 and this game should have been played at their place. Westlake was a league champion with one loss but was seeded one spot behind the Wolverines, who tied for second in the Mission League and had lost seven games. But the coaches gave the nod to Harvard Westlake (11-8) based on strength of schedule, meaning the Warriors were on the road for their quarterfinal matchup.

That No. 5 seed appears to have provided some motivation.

Tuesday, Westlake ran out to a 10-0 halftime lead in dispatching Redondo Union 14-4. Thursday, Spencer Tyoran got the Warriors on the board less than a minute into the game, and they didn’t slow down until they led 16-5 — one goal shy of triggering the running clock.

O’Brien led the Warriors with four goals, and Brett Reilly (3g 3a), Jesse Cuccia (3g, 3a) and Jacob Mannisto each scored three. Tyoran finished with two and Tanner Gee one. Eleven of Westlake’s goals were assisted.

Junior Philip Thompson led Harvard Westlake with four goals, all of them in the fourth quarter, when the Wolverines threw 18 shots at the Westlake goal. Thompson also had two assists and won 25 of 31 faceoffs. Senior Roman Holthouse, who missed the fourth quarter with an apparent injury, scored two for the Wolverines, as did Tommy Park. Eight of Harvard Westlake’s goals were unassisted.

Westlake goalie Matt Kilkeary was credited with 14 saves, 11 of them in the second half.

Westlake now travels south to meet No. 1 Palos Verdes in the L.A. semifinals. It is the Warriors’ third trip to the semifinals in the last four year. They lost to Palisades in 2012 and to Harvard Westlake in 2013.

Complete playoff bracket

Pre-First-Round Games
El Segundo 17, Brentwood 12
West Ranch 13, Sierra Canyon 12
Palisades 12, Culver City 11, 2 OT

First-Round Games
(1) Palos Verdes 18, (16) West Ranch 3
(9) Newbury Park 9, (8) Oak Park 5

(5) Westlake 14, (12) Redondo Union 4
(4) Harvard Westlake 12, (13) Chaminade 4

(3) Peninsula 13, (14) El Segundo 1
(6) Thousand Oaks 10, (11) Mira Costa 9

(7) Crespi 9, 10 Agoura (5)
(2) Loyola 19, (15) Palisades 4

Quarterfinals
(7) Crespi 9, (2) Loyola 8, OT
(6) Thousand Oaks 12, (3) Peninsula 11
(5) Westlake 16, (4) Harvard Westlake 11
(1) Palos Verdes 7, (9) Newbury Park 6

Semifinals – Saturday
(5) Westlake (16-1) at (1) Palos Verdes (15-5), 3:30 p.m.
(7) Crespi (12-6) at (6) Thousand Oaks (13-4), 7:30 p.m.