We’ve been a little backed up here at Southland Lax. Here’s a quick recap of the US Lacrosse CIF Southern Section high school playoffs:
When we previewed the division finals, we weren’t sure if No. 6 Harvard-Westlake could continue its run through the North against No. 1 Palos Verdes. However, the Wolverines pulled out a 9-7 victory in a game that was close throughout. Southland Lax was there to take in the game, and a full photo album can be found on our Facebook page.
To reach the final, Harvard Westlake beat the Nos. 3, 2 and 1 seeds in succession. The Wolverines played aggressively and without regard to who was favored — they just made plays. Ultimately, they made more than Palos Verdes, which seemed to lack a sense of urgency until the fourth quarter, when Harvard Westlake took the lead and it became clear the Wolverines were not going away. By the time PV tried to turn it on, though, Harvard Westlake was in control.
In the South, No. 1 Corona del Mar faced No. 3 St. Margaret’s in a rematch of a regular season game that SMES pulled out in overtime. The Tartans were the only Southern California team to have beaten CdM this season, and through dominating face-off play by OC Player of the Year Ryan Harnisch, SMES took down the defending champion Sea Kings by a score of 12-7.
Going into the final game, only one thing was certain: A new champion would emerge in the Southern Section. St. Margaret’s started strong with an early 2-0 lead, but Harvard-Westlake junior midfielder Jack Temko led a five goal run to give the Wolverines a 5-2 halftime lead.
The second half was all SMES, though, as the Tartans scored the first three goals of the third to tie the game en route to 13 second-half tallies and a 15-8 win. SMES had a balanced effort, with each attackman scoring four points each, another strong performance by FOGO Ryan Harnisch, and a breakout performance by junior midfielder Hunter Eddington (6g, 1a).
In the end, Harvard-Westlake’s brilliant playoff run came up short, and the Southern Section crown remained in Orange County. St. Margaret’s 19th-consecutive win marked the seventh consecutive championship for an OC team.
Check out a full photo album of the Southern Section final here.