There was a lot more defense than offense Friday night at Agoura, but Harvard Westlake senior Joe Woody — known as more of a defensive middie and ground-ball workhorse in previous seasons — managed to get his hands free and rip home the game-winner with 12 seconds left in overtime, lifting the Wolverines past the Chargers, 8-7.
It was the second goal of the game for Woody (pictured), who will play at NCAA D-III Kenyon College next year. Harvard Westlake also got two goals from Princeton-bound faceoff specialist Philip Thompson as coach Alex Weber looks for players to replace the offense generated the past few seasons by graduated offensive stars like Noah Pompan and Jack Temko. Attacks Roman Holthouse and Aaron Drooks and middies Oliver Levitt and Jared Goldman also scored for the Wolverines.
Agoura’s offensive star, with two goals and an assist, actually was defenseman Jonah Swigart, who has signed with Syracuse. Swigart scored once in the Chargers’ man-up offense and once in transition after a long run out of the back with a groundball. Later, he made another run, eventually feeding a teammate in the crease for the finish the tied the game in the final minute.
Harvard Westlake led 3-2 at halftime on two man-up goals and extended the lead to 5-3 entering the fourth. Agoura scored twice in transition to tie with 9:07 left, but Woody restored the Wolverines’ lead at 6-5 at about the 6:00 mark.
Agoura tied it 6-6 with 2:03 to play, but Thompson won the faceoff for Harvard Westlake and answered seconds later, giving the Wolverines a 7-6 lead with 1:47 left.
Thompson also won the ensuing faceoff, and it appeared Harvard Westlake would run out the clock, but a turnover led to Swigart’s transition assist and a tie game at 7-7 with 55 seconds on the clock.
Neither team managed as much as a shot in the final minute of regulation or first 4:48 of overtime, but coming out of a timeout in the closing seconds, Woody drove left, rolled back to his right and ripped a sidearm shot to the far post for the game-winner.