The other day we wrote about Team Panos, which had both its U-15 and U-19 teams go 5-0 and win their pools to reach the playoffs at the Sand Storm Lacrosse Festival last weekend.
It took the third tie-breaker, though, for the U-19 team to edge out Liv Lax, Brock Livingston’s team out of Crespi Carmelite HS in Encino, which also went 5-0. The teams didn’t face each other, the first tie-breaker, and each allowed only 14 goals, the second tie-breaker. But Team Panos had scored 52 to Liv Lax’s 43, earning the playoff nod.
So Liv Lax went home, but not disappointed.
“Last year we went 2-2-1 [at Sand Storm], and I wanted to be better than that,” Livingston said. “I didn’t expect 5-0, but I’m very happy with it, the guys, the way they played together.”
The tournament roster was comprised almost entirely of Crespi players, many of whom played supporting roles last spring, when Mission League MVP Jack Vonarb and first-team all-league players like Connor Doyle, Kyle Radenberg and Matt Lein, among others, carried the Celts to the program’s first U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section playoff berth. Crespi very nearly claimed a share of the Mission League title last spring, losing to champion Harvard-Westlake on the road in overtime in the regular season’s final game.
With that senior class gone, though, Livingston set about preparing the supporting cast to play starring roles this year. Through summer leagues and tournament play, the LA Box Lacrosse league in the fall and about a dozen practices since Christmas in preparation for Sand Storm, the results had to be both gratifying and encouraging.
Junior attack Jackson Briscoe scored a dozen or so goals in the five games, Livingston said, and the team got a lot of production from middies Montana Giffen, Dylan Alfa and Joey Schwartz, all juniors.
“One thing I told just a couple of the guys is we can be a better team [than last season],” Livingston said. “We might not have the superstar, but I think we’ll be better as a group. I feel more confident this year, because we have guys who are playing for each other, for the team.”