Mon, Mar 28 2011 04:10 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The 2011 high school boys lacrosse season features a much anticipated split into two playoff divisions, each based on enrollment levels. How that shakes out for Metro Conference teams, which are spread throughout both proposed divisions, remains to be seen.
Will the conference’s larger schools fall even further victim to North County powers? Will one of the conference’s medium-size schools record a breakthrough moment as an at-large qualifier?
Things could get interesting indeed.
Otay Ranch and Eastlake return as the conference’s two resident powers, but both the Mustangs and Titans appear to be chased this season by a competitive pack of teams that includes Hilltop and Bonita Vista, and possibly even Mar Vista. Chula Vista and Montgomery both appear to be have the most work to do among the conference’s seven teams.
A bid by Castle Park to field a team this season fell just short.
Each team will once again play 12 league games. The league champion receives an automatic bid to the San Diego Section playoffs.
Hilltop’s Pete Bishop, who has coached the Lancers since their inception, feels his team will be very competitive this season.
“There’s lots of enthusiasm,” Bishop said. “We have quite a few boys returning. Of course, you lose the heart of the team when the seniors graduate. But we have some kids who have stepped up. Our stick skills have improved. We have some depth at all our positions.”
Impact players this season for Hilltop include senior goalie Killian Spicer, senior attack man Ryan Kennedy, midfielders Tylor Spracklin and Nathaniel Beaver, both seniors, Miles Teague, a junior, and senior defender Michael Child.
“We always hope for the best and that we can win the league banner,” Bishop said. “You never know what can happen. The Metro league has improved dramatically the last few years but there isn’t one dominant team. I think we have two very solid teams down here, those being Eastlake and Otay Ranch, and a bunch of competitive teams after that. You can look at your team and be optimistic but you never know quite what you have until you get out there on the field with another team.”
The Lancers recorded their first win of the season March 17 by defeating host Chula Vista 10-1. Daniel Hodge led the attack with four goals while Christian Soldau scored twice, Spracklin added three assists and Daniel Soldau was credited with two assists.
Spicer started the contest and made three saves before being relieved by Jesse Garcia, who collected two saves.
Benjamin Ruffin scored the lone Spartan goal while netminder Tyler Crestic had 12 saves.
The loss was the fifth straight for Chula Vista to start the season.
Hilltop, meanwhile, had opened the season with losses to the Preuss School (17-6) and El Capitan (12-8).
Bishop remained cautiously optimistic.
“We wanted to get off to a quick start,” he said. “We have a lot to improve on obviously but it’s still early in the season. We managed to get a lot of people into this game (against Chula Vista) to allow our newer and younger players to get some experience. That will help us improve a lot.”
Kennedy had three goals and Hodge scored twice in the season opening loss to El Capitan while Kennedy, Christian Legg and Hodge each scored two goals in the loss to Preuss.
Spicer had 15 saves against Preuss and 10 against El Capitan.
© 2009 The Star-News