Fri, Apr 27 2012 01:07 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
It would appear by the Otay Ranch High School boys lacrosse team’s two latest victories — 18-13 in a high stakes match-up against chief rival Eastlake on April 19 and Monday’s 15-3 decision against upcoming challenger Hilltop — that the Mustangs have the rights to this year’s Metro Conference championship title all but locked up.
The two decisive victories boosted Otay Ranch’s league record to 9-0 and overall record to 12-3.
The Mustangs have three league games, and one non-league game, left on their regular season schedule.
It would appear the next stop is the San Diego Section Division I playoffs.
The opening round in the 12-team divisional field is May 15.
Those expecting a top-notch match-up in the Otay Ranch-Eastlake game were not disappointed.
The Titans, facing a must-win scenario in order to have a chance of finishing with a league co-championship, blew out to a shocking 5-0 lead over the hosts. But it turned out to be the visitors who were shocked after the Mustangs rallied to take an 8-7 halftime lead.
Otay Ranch’s spirited comeback continued in the second half, with the hosts eventually building a 13-7 lead before Eastlake once again put on a spurt to close the gap to 13-10.
But the hosts had the last word by tacking on four unanswered goals to finally secure a safe 18-11 lead en route to the victory.
The game was likely a little closer on the field than the final score indicated.
“I wasn’t too optimistic when it was 5-0,” ORHS coach Doug Murphy admitted. “Even though we were coming back, it was definitely scary. It was par for the course for an Eastlake-Otay Ranch game.”
The loss dropped the Titans’ record to 6-2 in league play, 9-5 overall, and likely eliminated Eastlake from consideration for a Division I at-large playoff berth.
“We were connecting well really early, we had the run of the game early on,” Rosas said. “But they made some adjustments early in the second half and started chipping away at the score. They just scrambled so much better than us to the loose balls.”
The 31 goals between the teams certainly made for an entertaining evening for the fans attending the inaugural South Bay Family Lacrosse Night.
The South Bay Outlaws youth program put on a special halftime scrimmage involving its fifth and sixth grade and middle school teams.
Murphy helped arrange the festive night to bring both the youth and high school lacrosse communities closer together.
In fact, the main attraction high school game served as a showcase for the Outlaws program as several Outlaws alumni played pivotal roles for both the Titans and Mustangs.
Eastlake’s Casey Stanko (five goals) and Otay Ranch’s Jake Weidner (three goals, two assists), both former Outlaws, posed for photographs after the game while sporting smiles.
Outlaws coach Keith Quigley called the event a “huge success.”
“I hope this event will continue for many years to come,” Quigley said. “The South Bay Outlaws players were very excited to be a part of it. They really enjoyed getting the opportunity to scrimmage at halftime in front of the large audience. It was a great job by all those involved in putting this event together.”
Eight players scored goals for Otay Ranch, including seven players with two or more goals.
Jordan Newman joined Weidner to lead the Mustang scoring parade against the arch rival Titans with three goals and two assists while Jeremy Tolley scored three goals. Roby Sills had two goals and two assists while Franz Hahn and A.J. Howes each collected two goals and one assist.
Victor Garcia scored two goals for Otay Ranch while Nick Zvirzin was credited with one goal.
Mustang goalie Patrick Flinn finished the game with nine saves.
Stanko was the main man in Eastlake’s attack; Devon Ballow had three goals while Ryan Hayes was credited with two goals and one assist.
Also scoring goals for the Titans were Eric Vega, Chase Morris and Jordan Vicente.
Sills had four goals in Monday’s game to lead Otay Ranch.
Hilltop saw its league record drop to 5-3 and its overall record fall to 10-5 with Monday’s setback.
Hilltop set a new school record for victories in one season after defeating the host Preuss Tritons, 9-5, on April 18. The Lancers then followed with conference wins against Otay Ranch (10-3 on April 19) and Eastlake (15-5 on Monday) to improve to 16-1 on the season (7-0 in league play).
The previous school record for most wins in one season had been 13.
Eastlake senior Erika Hashimoto put her name in the hat for top scoring honors this season after racking up seven goals in a pair of recent Titan victories. Hashimoto scored six goals in a 17-9 win over Mar Vista on April 16 and added one goal in an 8-5 victory against Chula Vista on April 19.
Hashimoto has scored 26 goals this season for Eastlake (3-4 in league, 5-10 overall).
Other Titan standouts include senior Melissa Meza with 16 goals and sophomores Alexyss McClellan and Gillian Stargensky, each with 10 goals in 12 games. Junior Kindred Lowman has scored 10 goals in five games.
© 2009 The Star-News