Nike/US Lacrosse West Region Report
by Todd Karpovich | LaxMagazine.com
Top PerformersDino Renna, La Costa Canyon (Calif.)
The sophomore had three goals including the game winner in a 9-8 victory over Torrey Pines (Calif.). The second-year varsity player had his best game of the season, coach Jesse Foss said, "He did a great job of dodging right off the pass, using his quickness, and being ready to shoot."
Christian Bender, Palos Verdes (Calif.)
Bender had six goals in a 22-5 victory over Mira Costa in a key South Bay League matchup. Bender is being recruited by several Division I schools.
Henry Adams, Cherry Creek (Colo.)
The freshman scored four goals in a 10-7 victory over Arapahoe. Cherry Creek is in the hunt for another state title, and with young players like Adams, the Bruins will remain competitive for years to come.
Games to watch
Columbine (Colo.) at Cherry Creek (Colo.) – May 2
The two teams have yet to lose in-state, so this will be one of the season's most-highly anticipated matchups. Both teams also enter the game battle-tested by putting together some of the toughest non-conference schedules in the region.
Bellevue (Wash.) at Mercer Island (Wash.) – May 3
The two teams have one of the fiercest lacrosse rivalries in the Pacific Northwest. Bellevue has yet to lose a game to any team in their region, while Mercer Island also has not lost to any teams in-state and is riding a seven-game winning streak.
1. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 17-1
The Wildcats traveled East and picked up a signature 6-5 overtime victory over Seton Hall Prep (N.J.) in at the Big City Classic at MetLife Stadium. Spencer Evans got the winner with 2:38 left in the extra period. St. Ignatius then lost its first game of the season, 5-4, to Chaminade (N.Y.), which entered the game ranked second in the Nike/US Lacrosse National High School Boys' Top 25 Poll.
2. Corona del Mar (Calif.), 15-2
The Sea Kings had their winning streak snapped at 36 games with a 10-9 loss to San Ramon Valley (Calif.). After knocking off Amador Valley (Calif.), Corona del Mar had another setback to St. Margaret's Episcopal (Calif.). The Sea Kings played one of the toughest schedules in the region.
3. La Costa Canyon (Calif.), 13-2
The Mavericks had a successful run against East Coast teams and followed that up with four more wins in California. La Costa Canyon also won its big rivalry game, 9-8 over Torrey Pines (Calif.). The game was tied six times before Dino Renna got the game-winner.
4. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 11-3
The Falcons dropped their rivalry game to La Costa Canyon, but bounced back with a victory over Coronado (Calif.). Torrey Pines is part of the Open Division playoff system this season and is primed to make a deep playoff run.
5. Cherry Creek (Colo.), 8-4
The Bruins' only losses are to out-of-state teams and are riding a five-game winning streak. In a rematch of last year's state championship game against Arapahoe (Colo.), Cherry Creek got a measure of revenge with a 10-7 victory.
6. Bellevue (Wash.), 13-2
The Wolverines got battle-tested with a trip to New York and returned with four dominant victories. Bellevue remains undefeated in Washington State with five regular season games remaining, including a huge match-up against Mercer Island (Wash.).
7. Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.), 15-4
The Knights have won five consecutive games since losing to Medfield (Mass.) earlier in the month. Foothill-Santa Ana closes out the regular with a tough game against Yorba Linda (Calif.), which has only one loss all season to Sage Hill (Calif.).
8. St. Margaret's Episcopal (Calif.) 16-4
The Tartans picked up three signature victories to enter the rankings this week. St. Margaret's handed Corona del Mara only its second defeat in two years and then knocked off a tough JSerra (Calif.) twice to win the Trinity League regular season.
9. Cathedral Catholic (Calif.), 14-2
The Dons continue to roll. Cathedral Catholic won its 11th game in a row over Rancho Bernardo. The Dons have four remaining regular season games and then are poised to make a deep playoff run.
10. Columbine (Colo.), 8-4
The Rebels remain in the heat of the state title chase and have yet to lose a game in-state. Columbine knocked off a tough Mullen team, 5-3, and has three regular season games remaining, including a tough matchup against No. 5 Cherry Creek.
News and Notes
Winning streak ends for Corona del Mar
Corona del Mar (Calif.) had its 36-game winning streak snapped to San Ramon Valley in the midst of one of the area's toughest schedules.
Sea Kings coach G.W Mix opted to play an independent schedule this season to fully challenge his players every game. Corona del Mar went 24-0 last season and won the CIF championship, but the players wanted to play an even more challenging schedule. This meant becoming an independent.
"We celebrated the 2012 24-0 portion quite a bit when we won the CIF championship, but we really looked at 2013 as separate from that," Mix said. "I am sure most of the relief came from the fact it was an out of area team that beat us, so they didn't have to hear about it constantly at home. That probably made it a little easier to move on past it."
Corona del Mar lost 10-9 to San Ramon Valley (Calif.). After they beat Amador Valley (Calif.), the Sea Kings lost another game to St. Margaret's Episcopal (Calif.) 12-11 in overtime. Corona del Mar bounced back with two victories over Marina (Calif.) and Mater Dei (Calif.).
Prior to this season, the Sea Kings went 50-0 with five consecutive championships in the Pacific Coast League with an average margin of victory of more than 10 goals. Mix thought it was time to seek new challenges as an independent.
"I think our kids have enjoyed the challenge of having far more meaningful games on the schedule," Mix said. "They have responded well thus far."
La Costa Canyon wins rivalry game
La Costa Canyon (Calif.) and Torrey Pines (Calif.) continue one the best lacrosse rivalries in California.
Dino Renna scored his third goal of the game with 1:15 remaining in regulation to lift La Costa Canyon to a 9-8 victory over Torrey Pines on April 19. It was the third-straight one-goal game between the teams; with two others going double overtime.
"It's always tough to play Torrey Pines no matter the time frame," La Costa Canyon coach Jesse Foss said. "They are a very talented team with six committed D-I players and a ton of depth. Because we don't start league games until after spring break, this game has to be played in a short window."
The teams could play twice more. They have another regular season game and then both teams are also in the Open Division of the state playoffs this year are could be on a collision course for a third matchup. La Costa Canyon beat Torrey Pines twice in the regular season last year and then again in the section finals.
"La Costa Canyon and Torrey Pines are neck-and-neck for the most CIF championships in San Diego for all sports every year," Foss said. "The schools have very similar demographics and are separated a few miles. As far as lacrosse, I have honestly never experienced anything like it at a high school level. I feel like we could go 2-20 for the season as long as those two wins are against Torrey Pines."
St. Margaret's wins Trinity League
St. Margaret's Episcopal (Calif.) has put together an impressive campaign this season, picking up huge wins over Corona del Mar (Calif.) and JSerra Catholic (Calif.).
The Tartans beat JSerra twice in two weeks to win the Trinity League championship. The defense has allowed more than 10 goals just five times in 18 games.
"Defense is playing pretty well," Coach Glen Miles said. "They are working hard at eliminating mistakes."
Some of St. Margaret's top players include long stick midfielder Scott McGowan (Denver) and sophomore Ryan Harnisch, who has won 85 percent of his faceoffs. The offense is led by Alex Waller, Hunter Edington and Chase Williams. Brandon Suchand (Grand Canyon University) is anchoring the defense.
Note: The Nike/US Lacrosse Regional rankings will not necessarily reflect the same order as the Nike/US Lacrosse National Top 25 poll, which is voted on by US Lacrosse area representatives and Lacrosse Magazine contributors, who compile the regional rankings.