An 8-0 run to start the second half propelled the Los Alamitos High boys lacrosse team to a 17-9 win over Trabuco Hills in the first round of the CIF-SS division 1 playoffs on Tuesday at Los Alamitos High.
Los Al led 8-5 late in the second quarter before the Mustangs scored two late goals to cut the lead to 8-7 going into halftime. But the Griffins came out fast in the second half. They scored two goals within the first 40 seconds of the third quarter to push the lead to 10-7.
After gaining possession, the Griffins moved quickly into the Mustang zone. Chuck Foley found space high in front of the goal and fired a low shot from about 12 yards that found the net for a 9-7 lead. The Griffins struck again, this time from Luke Glowaki who was running full speed down the middle of the defense. He fired an overhand shot for another goal just 39 seconds into the third quarter and the Griffins were off and running.
“Once we settled in, we found out that we needed to play like Los Al … in the second half we saw it, we told them that the dam was going to break at some point and it did and we went on that 8-0 run,” Griffin Head Coach Matt Cunniffe said.
Glowaki struck again, this time getting a quick shot off after Drew Anderson found him in front with a short pass from behind the goal. Glowaki would add another goal before the end of the third quarter. He crashed through two defenders on an attack and fired a shot on a bounce under the goalie to give the Griffins a 12-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
Glowaki would lead the offense with five goals on the night. Sean Park, Ed Shean, Matt Carresi and Ben Posner would each add two goals. Shean also had five assists and three ground balls won. Ryder Buell also had three ground ball wins and Park led the team with four ground ball wins. Goalie Trevor Partlow was credited with six saves and also added three ground ball wins.
The Griffins kept the pressure on at the start of the fourth quarter. Shean made a steal behind the Mustang net and broke free up field. At about midfield he passed to Grant Emfinger, who continued the break up field before crossing a pass to Jack Hunter, who circled around in front of the goal before firing a quick shot for a 13-7 lead. The Griffins would extend their lead to 16-7 before finally surrendering a goal to Trabuco Hills.
The Griffins will travel to Westlake High on Friday for a second-round game that is scheduled for 3:15 p.m. Westlake finished the regular season at 17-1 and had a bye in the first round. They were ranked seventh in the final division 1 poll. Los Alamitos (9-4 in the regular season) finished the season at No. 9 in the division 1 poll.
Cunniffe said the Griffins will need to find their rhythm earlier and get off to a better start against Westlake. He also noted winning balls on the ground will be key, as will staying out of the penalty box.
“Most importantly, playing like us, playing like Los Al and figuring things out on the fly, trusting each other, trusting our teammates, it’s the same stuff we’ve done all year long,” Cunniffe said.