The 2012 US Lacrosse Southern Section Championship was decided Saturday with Corona del Mar’s 7-6 comeback victory over Palos Verdes. It was CdM’s first section title and the sixth consecutive title for an Orange County team. Here’s a look back on the season.
LaxPower End of the Year Top 10:
1. Corona del Mar (24-0)
2. Palos Verdes (20-3)
3. Tesoro (13-3)
4. Temecula Great Oak (15-2)
5. San Clemente (15-7)
6. Los Alamitos (15-5)
7. Westlake (17-2)
8. St. Margaret’s Episcopal (11-7)
9. Foothill-Santa Ana (11-9)
10. Santa Margarita Catholic (11-8)
Bay League: Palos Verdes (13-0, 20-3)
Century League: Esperanza (6-0, 12-6)
City League: Palisades (6-0, 16-4)
Condor League: Thacher (4-0, 7-6)
North Coast League: Laguna Hills (7-1, 16-2)
South Coast League: Tesoro (8-0, 13-3)
Coast 101 League: Westlake (14-0, 17-2)
Mission League: Harvard-Westlake (7-1, 10-4)
Pacific Coast League: Corona del Mar (10-0, 24-0)
Sunset League: Los Alamitos (5-1, 15-5)
Trinity League: St. Margaret’s Episcopal (6-2, 11-7)
Every league champion earned a playoff birth except Laguna Hills, the Sea View League champ, a decision that has been questioned by some. Laguna Hills ended the season as the 11th ranked team according to LaxPower, ahead of four other Orange County teams that were given playoff spots: 15th-ranked Huntington Beach (9-8), 18th-ranked Newport Harbor (10-9), 20th-ranked El Toro (9-9), and 22nd-ranked Servite (7-10).
The strength of schedule numbers for these teams shows great disparity, though. Laguna Hills’ SOS ranked 55th in the section out of 67 teams rated, while Huntington Beach was 3rd, Newport Harbor 7th, El Toro 8th, and Servite 10th.
Palisades (16-4), the L.A. County runner up, finished as the 12th-ranked team in LaxPower’s ratings. Two of the Dolphins four losses came to Palos Verdes, including a 13-4 loss in the county title game.
Mater Dei suffered through a difficult season, going 0-17 only a year after their playoff appearance and two years after their (now defunct) Division II championship. For some context, Mater Dei’s strength of schedule was rated 9th — only eight section teams played tougher schedules — and eight of the team’s losses were by three goals or less.
Northwood won the de facto Irvine “Own the City” title (determined by a tournament before the reformation of the Pacific Coast League with all Irvine schools) by sweeping home and away games against University, Irvine and Woodbridge by a combined score of 73-32.
Foothill-Santa Ana was the team with the highest SOS, possibly contributing to its worst season in six years. The Knights, although expecting perfection after five straight Southern Section championships, can’t be too disappointed, however, as they made their sixth consecutive Orange County finals game. SOS could have factored only so much, though, as the Knights also had the highest SOS in every CIF season except 2008.
Corona del Mar and Palos Verdes had the 16th- and 17th-rated SOS, respectively.
Both the girls and boys teams from Palos Verdes were playing on championship Saturday. Both teams fell to their OC counterparts, as the girls lost to Los Alamitos 18-2. Check out pictures from both games here.