The 2014 high school boys lacrosse season has faced off for Metro Conference teams, and among the bright spots in the early part of the season has been the much improved play of the second-year Olympian High School team.
The Eagles ran their record to 3-1 after defeating host El Capitan, 14-7, in a St. Patrick’s Day contest. The win built on other non-league victories against Foothills Christian (17-1 on March 4) and Southwest (14-0 last Friday).
The Eagles’ sole loss in the opening four games was 5-4 to visiting Point Loma on March 12.
OHS coach Keith Quigley selected goalie J.C. Madrid as his team’s player of the game in Monday’s win over the Vaqueros (1-3). Madrid made 15 saves on 22 shots.
“He played a great game, stopping many quality shots,” the Eagles coach noted.
Offensive standouts included senior attackman Christian Benitez with six goals and two assists, junior midfielder Anthony Hughes with three goals and one assist, senior midfielder Michael Machuca with two goals and one assist and junior attackman Alex Medina with two goals.
Senior midfielder Fernando Medel won 15 of the 20 face-offs in the game.
As a point of reference, Quigley noted his team lost, 4-0, to El Capitan last season.
As a further point of reference, Point Loma (4-0) entered its game against the Eagles ranked among the top 15 of the section’s 49 teams.
“It was a very tough loss,” Quigley noted. “I thought we had them. We played well and worked hard but we got too many penalties. We spent too much time in man-down situations.”
Machuca led Olympian with two goals while Medina contributed a goal and assist, junior attackman Carlo Reyes and one goal and Benitez recorded one assist.
In the season opener against Foothills, Machuca topped the Eagles with four goals and while assists while Medina was next with two goals and four assists. Benitez had two goals and three assists while Reyes netted three goals. Medel collected 18 ground balls, and Medina collected 14 ground balls.
Quigley said Medel currently ranks as one of the top players in the county with 42 ground balls.
Defending conference champion Eastlake faced off its season with an 11-1 non-league victory against visiting Valhalla on March 6. The Titans dropped a 7-5 encounter at Granite Hills on March 11 in a rematch of last year’s playoff encounter, then defeated Canyon Crest Academy, 8-5, in an away match last Friday.
Eastlake throttled visiting Santana, 17-1, on Tuesday to improve to 3-1 in the early going. The Titans are averaging 10 goals in their opening four matches of the season.
"We thought we had Granite Hills," EHS coach Nestor Rosas said. "We were ahead 4-2 at halftime but couldn't finish. We then played Canyon Crest and were up at halftime and managed to finish that one off."
Team scoring leaders include senior Ryan Hayes with 11 goals and eight assists and junior Jordan Vicente with 11 goals and four assists. Following their lead are teammates Jake Randall (three goals, three assists), Michaelangelo Aguirre (five goals), Garrett Miele (three goals, one assist), Chase Morris (two goals, one assist), Dylan Furseth (two goals), Gabriel Evangelista (one goal, one assist), Andrew Gisler (one goal, one assist), Kaleb Cordova (one goal) and Michael Kohler (one goal).
Hayes notched four goals and four assists in the win over Santana while Vicente collected three goals and one assist and Morris scored twice.
Christian Haffner leads the Titans with 31 ground balls on the season, followed by Vicente with 19 ground balls and Morris with 12 ground balls.
Haffner collected 12 ground balls in the opening win over Valhalla.
Morris has won 14 face-offs while Aguirre has won 12 face-offs and Haffner has won eight face-offs.
Goalie Nathan McPeak has made 22 saves on 36 shots in picking up two wins.
Bonita Vista (2-2) opened the season with non-league wins against Helix (7-6 on March 8) and Mar Vista (13-0 on March 10) before suffering back-to-back setbacks against Valhalla (7-3 on March 13) and Point Loma (9-4 on Saturday).
Southwest (1-2) picked up its first win of the season against Foothills Christian, 6-2, on March 12 while Montgomery (1-3) picked up its first win of the season against San Diego, 11-8, last Friday.
Hilltop dropped to an 0-3 start after succumbing to visiting Valhalla, 10-2, in a non-league encounter on Tuesday. The first half was close, with the Norsemen holding a 3-1 edge.
Previously, the Lancers lost, 20-0, to 10th-ranked Mt. Carmel last Friday.
“We’re learning every day and every game — we’re getting better,” HHS coach Pete Bishop said. “That’s one of the reasons we schedule games like these at the beginning of the season, so we can play teams that are better than us and learn from them. I thought we were pretty evenly matched with Valhalla but got tired last in the game.”
Nick Johnson and Jacob Moctezuma each scored goals for the Lancers in Tuesday’s game while Omar Aguilar picked up one assist.
Valhalla fired off 33 shots and won 28 ground balls against a more inexperienced Hilltop team. Team leaders for the Norsemen (2-1) included Braden LeValley with three goals and Sean Bernitz and Kevin Doggett each with two goals. Starting VHS goalie Michael Torgerson stopped eight Hilltop shots.
Eagles fly to 4-1 start after 15-3 win over Aztecs
Olympian defeated host Montgomery, 15-3, on Thursday to improve to 4-1 on the young season. Michael Muchuca earned honors as the Eagles' player of the game by scoring four goals. OHS coach Keith Quigley called the win a "great all-around team effort."
"Everybody chipped in, including first-year players," Quigley noted.
Among the regulars, Alex Medina had three goals and one assist, Anthony Hughes had two goals and two assists and Fernando Medel had two goals and one assist.
Sophomore attackmen Kent Okazaki contributed one goal and one assist while sophomore attackman Kennedy Furst had one goal.
Through five games, Machuca leads the Eagles with 14 goals and four assists, followed on the team leader board by Christian Benitez and Medina each with 12 goals and five assists, Carlo Reyes with eight goals and two assists, Hughes with six goals and three assists and Medel with six goals and one assist. Goalie J.C. Madrid has collected 31 saves on 47 shots and is allowing 3.34 goals per game.
Note: Eastlake improved to 4-1 on the season with a 9-8 non-league win against visiting Serra last Friday. Jordan Vicente had five goals and one assist to lead the Titans. Andrew Gisler had two goals while Jake Randall contributed a goal and assist, Ryan Hayes had two assists and Michaelangelo Aguirre scored one goal. Christian Haffner led the hosts with six ground balls while Aguirre won five face-offs. EHS goalie Nathan McPeak mustered 10 saves on 18 shots. The Conquistadors dropped to 3-2 on the season.
YOUTH LACROSSE CAMPS:
LAX/619 will hold two spring break lacrosse camps: a beginner’s camp March 24-28 (elementary and middle school) and an advanced camp March 31 to April 4 (fourth through eighth grades). Both camps will take place at the Montevalle Recreation Center field.
The beginner’s camp is offered from 9 a.m. to noon. The cost is $115. The advanced camp is open to players who have at least two or more years of playing experience. Camp time is 9:30 a.m. to noon. Cost is $115.
Lacrosse equipment will be provided to those who do not have their own. To register, download the form at www.PUCKidz.net. For more information, email PUCKidz@gmail.com or call (619) 573-7115.