Watts Games rally caps stellar season for Laguna Hills seniors

Taylor Smith, Laguna Hills Lacrosse

Updating Thursday’s report on Laguna Hills’ championship run through the LA Watts Summer Games: Laguna head coach Teddy Hicks checked in with some details on the comeback, on MVP Taylor Smith and on the nice season-ender for his squad.

Taylor Smith, Laguna Hills Lacrosse
Taylor Smith, a converted goalie playing midfield, was named MVP of the LA Watts Summer Games.

Photo courtesy Laguna Hills Lacrosse

Laguna Hills took first place in the weekend tournament after a dramatic semifinal win over Palisades in a Braveheart tie-breaker, then beat Santa Monica 8-7 in OT for the title. Coach Hicks provided some details by email on the win over Palisades in which an altercation prompted two Pali players to be ejected and left Laguna with a three-minute man-up situation.

“I do belive we were trailing by 1,” Hicks wrote, “However, we were running a 5-on-4 after the scuffle and able to tie it up. Then [we] added another to go up by one. They were able to tie it up. Then on the ensuing faceoff We had an open net with just a few seconds left, but the shot went wide.”

After a five-minute overtime, the game was decided on a Braveheart tie-breaker.

MVP of the tournament went to Smith, who is listed as a goalie/attack but according to Hicks played midfield all year. The Laguna Hills team website also has a picture of Smith playing with a pole. With four positions in his repertoire, Smith might be the definition of versatile.

Smith was one of 15 seniors on the Laguna roster this spring, and Hicks said that with the exception of a few absences for prior commitments, he had essentially the same roster for the Watts Games. Add the team’s 5-0 mark last weekend to its 16-2 record during the regular season and those seniors go out on a pretty good note.