The Hilltop Lancers boys lacrosse team extended its modest winning streak to two games after defeating the visiting Chula Vista Spartans, 10-7, in a non-league encounter Tuesday evening.
The Lancers previously defeated host Southwest, 3-1, last Friday.
Hilltop (2-3) slipped past Chula Vista (0-3) despite a sloppy first quarter in which the Spartans build a smart 3-0 lead by taking advantage of Lancer miscues.
Alex Figueroa scored the opening two goals for the Spartans while teammate Daniel Sanchez tacked on another CV goal to befuddle the hosts.
But the Spartans did not have an answer for Hilltop’s Andy Barrios, who proceeded to score seven goals over the next three quarters to lift his team to the inspired come-from-behind victory.
“There were a lot of mistakes on our part, but even in the mistakes, our guys could see the things that were working,” HHS coach Pete Bishop explained. “In lacrosse, you’ve got to do a lot of things right – you’ve got to possess the ball, you’ve got to pass the ball, you’ve got to get in position to take shots. It’s all got to come together, and it takes time to do that.
“I told the boys ‘Not bad,’ especially for coming from behind.”
Barrios got the Lancers going with two quick goals to start the second quarter, but Chula Vista’s Hector Garcia scored on a defensive lapse by the Lancers to turn what had been a 3-2 contest into a 4-2 Spartan lead.
But Jacob Moctezuma added a clutch goal 43 seconds before halftime to narrow Hilltop’s deficit on the scoreboard to 4-3.
Barrios scored the opening two goals of the third quarter to push the hosts into the lead at 5-4. But CV’s Ruben Gomez once again capitalized on a Hilltop turnover to tie the contest at five goals each.
Barrios scored his fifth and sixth goals of the game to put the Lancers up 7-5. But Christian Casillas got one back for Chula Vista to narrow the hosts’ lead to 7-6.
Play at this point of the game was fairly even both ways.
Barrios scored his seventh goal of the game with 3:35 to play in the game to give his team an 8-6 lead. Moctezuma scored his second goal of the game with 2:17 to play to make the score 9-6 in Hilltop’s favor, and Brandon Ragadio tacked on a goal with 20 seconds left to increase the Lancer lead to 10-6.
CV’s Figueroa scored his third goal of the game with eight seconds remaining to close out scoring.
The Spartans, who finished 1-17 in 2011, 0-15 in 2012 and 0-16 in 2013, were impressive in completing plays under the guidance of first-year coach Angel Ascencio, a 2012 Mar Vista High School graduate.
Chula Vista has to be considered one of the favorites to claim the inaugural South Bay League championship banner. The Spartans will compete in the newly formed South Bay League alongside Southwest, Mar Vista and Montgomery.
“The game (against Hilltop) was close, I think we have a chance at winning the banner,” Ascencio noted.
The biggest difference in this year’s CVHS team from that which took the field the last few seasons? "I played against them while I was at Mar Vista,” Ascencio said. “Before it was one player, now I see a team.”
The Spartans, who celebrated each goal in Tuesday's game with gusto, continue their season by hosting non-league games against Olympian on April 3 and Eastlake on April 10 before facing off league play April 17 with a game against visiting Montgomery.
Hilltop, which is seeking continued improved play, hosts Point Loma in a non-league contest Friday, March 28, and turns around to host Foothills Christian in another non-league game on Monday, March 31.
The Lancers picked up their first win of the season as Moctezuma, Barrios and Manny Mejia each scored goals at Southwest last Friday. Andrew Wilson and Barrios led the team in winning ground balls.