AFTER DOMINATING MALIBU IN THE NORTH SEMI FINALS BEVERLY HILLS FALLS TO SOUTH CHAMPION SAN DIEGO
BUCKS FALL TO SAN DIEGO IN SCLAX FINALS
We knew going in that we hadn’t faced any competition during the year as tough as we were going to face today. We knew that we had the athletes…the skills and the drive to win the game. We hoped that San Diego’s triple overtime game the previous day would leave them a little tired today. The lack of competitive games this season turned out to be the one thing we could not overcome today as we left everything on the field.
San Diego jumped out to a 4-0 lead by the 9:15 mark of the first quarter. But we buckled down and played more of a possession game and with just twelve seconds showing on the clock Logan Soelberg swept behind the cage and fed Devin Maxwell off the right pipe. Devin didn’t disappoint as he went top left and the Bucks were on the board. For the first time this year we didn’t have our usual success at the faceoff X which actually carried through the first half. Morgan Weireter had five saves on twelve shots but San Diego pressured the Hills squad into six turnovers one of which was negated by a Griffin Perkiel takeaway.
Beverly Hills found their legs in the second quarter as Logan dished to Owen Larson at the 9:02 mark and Alex Dixon scored solo off a broken clear three minutes later. The Defense stiffened, the turnovers were cut in half and J D Johnson and Riley Lasda each pitched in with a takeaway. Matt Parham started to get his mojo back at the X, Morgan Weireter had four saves and the Beverly Hills squad was only down one going into the half.
San Diego jumped back into the scoring column with three quick scores while the Hills squad could not find the back of the net. New keeper Brad Brandenburg had four saves while he was peppered with nine shots. Riley Lasda had another takeaway and Matt Parham went 2-2 at the X but you can’t cut into a deficit if you don’t score and the quarter ended with San Diego up 7-3.
Despite being down and not playing their best lacrosse the Bucks hung in there and continued to fight. After San Diego scored at the 11:30 mark of the fourth giving them a five goal advantage George Pertessis answered with a solo rip from up top And Logan Soelberg scored off an Alex Dixon feed leaving the bucks down 8-5 with just under nine minutes left. The teams traded turnovers and as their hopes faded the Hills squad pulled their goalie and gave up an easy empty net score at the 1:10 mark. Final score San Diego nine Beverly Hills five.
It was a bitter end to a great season where the Bucks finished the season 7-1. The team pulled together as they always do and the only chatter you heard as the players were gathering their equipment and again at Oggy’s Sports bar where the team gathered to celebrate the season was unanimous. They were grateful for the season and they can’t wait to hit the field in the fall and start putting together a game plan for 2022.
Newport Beach has been the Bucks most serious rival in the SCLAX North Division over the years and we always looked forward to tight competitive games with them. Unfortunately they have had numbers problems this year and today was no different as they only had three players on the sidelines. They couldn’t keep up with the Hills squad frantic pace and as hard as they played and as talented as the Newport players were, it was never very competitive throughout the contest.
The first quarter scoring started with a solo drive by Eli Lasda off the left pipe three minutes into the game. Steve Brandenburg followed with a southpaw shot that had no visible angle from just above GLE less than a minute later. The Bucks continued to roll as Eli first went solo then scored again on a feed from Alex Jessup putting the Bucks up 4-0 halfway through the period. Just thirty six seconds later Eli fed Jack Vonarb and with just thirty seconds left in the quarter Owen Larson put one by the Newport netminder as the Hills squad ended the quarter up 6-0. The Buck’s defense was stingy yielding only one shot on goal; for Newport and Morgan Weireter was up to the task as he stopped it. Longpoles JD Johnson, Kevin Berlandi and Johnny Brasko all had takeaways as they neutralized the three Beverly Hills turnovers. Buck faceoff maven Jared Jacobs went five for six at the X.
Beverly Hills got sloppy in the second quarter as they committed six unforced turnovers. Newport also went four for four at the faceoff X but Sean Kane went solo from the wing at the 17:20 mark and then had a nice cross crease feed to Will McCance inside to add two more tallies to the Bucks ledger. Newport Beach answered with a ganja goal at the 4:20 mark as the Bucks took an 8-1 lead into halftime.
The third quarter got interesting as Beverly Hills got back into their scoring mode. Less than a minute into the period Steve Brandenburg scored from up top for his fourth goal of the afternoon. Newport answered with one goal but Eli took a nice feed from Steve Brandenburg for his fourth goal of the afternoon. Then, after a couple of unsuccessful attempts to feed Steve Brandenburg and Will McCance with a bounce pass as the cut across the crease the LSM decided to take matters into his own hands and let one loose from the restraining line making it an eleven to two game halfway through the third. The teams traded goals late in the quarter as Newport put back a rebound off a Brad Brandenburg save and first half Buck keeper, long pole in hand scored from thirty yards. The faceoff combo of Matt Parham and Jared Jacobs went 6/7 at the X, Brad Brandenburg garnered two saves and JD Johnson, John Brasko each had a takeaway offsetting the three Beverly Hills third quarter turnovers.
Sean Kane started off the fourth quarter scoring at the 18:23 mark with a nifty feed to LSM Dustin Doty making Dustin the third Buck pole to score in the game. Jack Vonarb followed from up top for the third Hills hat trick of the afternoon. Steve Brandenburg continued the scoring run feeding Will McCance off the crease. After Newport answered with a transition goal at the 4:28 mark Griffen Perkiel became the fourth Buck pole to score in the game as he hit one from outside. Newport closed out the scoring with under two minutes left in the game but it was too little too late as the Beverly Hills squad walked off with a 16-5 victory and remained undefeated for the 23021 season. Brad Brandenburg had another nice quarter in the net saving six shots. The five Hills fourth quarter turnovers were countered with takeaways by Mark Bell, Kevin Berlandi and Dustin Doty.
As the SCLAX regular season starts to taper off with just two games remaining the Bucks will face their toughest two games of the season as they travel to Rancho Bernardo High School in San Diego next week for an 11:00 faceoff against perennial South Division powerhouse 40 Thieves. Then two weeks later they will end their season hosting the San Diego Lacrosse Club at Mira Costa High School the week after Labor Day.
What do you get when all the big guns show up, play smart…..play fast and play with the love of the game bursting out of their helmets? You get a lopsided score and that’s exactly what happened Sunday when the Beverly Hills squad hosted Venice Lax at Mira Costa High School. Venice jumped out to an early lead about five and a half minutes into the game but that would be the last time they had an edge over the Bucks. Alex Jessup responded at the 10:18 mark with a blistering feed to Will McCance who snuck open at the crease. Eli Lasda followed two minutes later with a solo shot, Steve Brandenburg (the happiest guy on the field) followed with a feed to Logan Soelberg and Jack Vonarb went solo from the top of the box and the quarter ended with the Hills squad up 4-1. The Bucks limited their turnovers to two for the quarter, new Buck Matt Parham went 5-5 at the “X” against the legendary FOGO Ernie Melero, Morgan Weireter tallied two saves and Dustin Doty and Brock Livingston, riding like there was no tomorrow each had a take away.
The second quarter started like quarter number one ended with the Bucks rolling off four straight goals. Eli Lasda started it off at the 14:24 mark with a feed to Will McCance. Brock Livingston followed three minutes later with a feed to former Crespi mentee Alex Dixon and then doubled down with another assist as he found that sneaky Will McCance hiding off the crease who tallied his third consecutive hat trick for the season. Dustin Doty, clearing off another Weireter save found Will again halfway through the quarter to put the Bucks up 8-1. Finally Ernie Melero face dodged at the top of the box to stop the bleeding with 7:30 left in the quarter. The teams traded goals as Will McCance picked up his first assist of the evening with a feed from “X” to a cutting Brock Livingston for his first hat trick of the season. After Venice answered at the 5:10 mark Steve Brandenburg, smiling as always found Brock Livingston cutting to the cage twice and the Bucks took an 11-3 lead into halftime. Matt Parham, as always with help from short stick wing man Sean Kane and LSM Dustin Doty went 7-10 at the “X”. Some of the wins were clean but a lot of them found Kane on the ground scrapping for the ball AND coming up with it. The Bucks posted two turnovers in the quarter but they were negated by take-aways from long time Buck Johnny Brasko and Eli Lasda.
The first half of the third quarter saw the teams trading shots and turnovers but one of the highlight plays of the night added to the Hills squad lead as Morgan Weireter sent a long clearing pass off a save up field to Jack Vonarb who touched it over to Sean Kane off the right pipe. Sean immediately swung the pass over to who else…Will McCance for the first of four Bucks third quarter scores. Logan Soelberg, cutting off the right pipe followed with a behind the back cross crease pass to Sean Kane who dipped and dunked the shot into the goal. Sean followed with a solo shot at the 8:02 mark of the third and Alex Jessup went airborne to close out the scoring with a rocket from the top of the box. It was a 16-3 Buck lead at the end of the quarter. Matt Parham continued his dominance at the “X” going 4-5 and Mark Bell, JD Johnson and Riley Lasda posted take aways as the Beverly Hills squad lengthened their lead.
Steve Brandenburg started off the scoring in the fourth as he rolled solo off a dodge at the 16:33 mark to lengthen the lead. First year Buck Owen Larson followed with a solo dodge of his own and it was 18-3 Bucks. The teams traded scores as Sean Kane fed Brock Livingston for his fourth goal of the afternoon. Brock then followed with a feed to a cutting Steve Brandenburg for the Bucks final tally of the afternoon. Venice answered in the final minute but it was too little too late as the Bucks walked away with a 20-5 win. What was truly great about the win was how the Bucks spread out the scoring. Ten players scored…two with hat tricks. Out of the twenty tallies thirteen were assisted. The Buck defense only allowed eleven shots with Morgan Weireter stopping seven of them. And the Bucks broke seven Venice clearing attempts with fierce riding by whichever trio of attackmen and midfield line was on the field at the time. And ground balls? I should have kept stats as the Hills squad led by a down and dirty Sean Kane was everywhere contesting every ball that fell out of a Venice crosse.
But things are going to get a lot tougher from here as the Bucks will travel to ther North Division rival Newport Beach the week after Mother’s Day for a 1:00 face off at Vista Hermosa Sports Park. And the final two games of the regular season will pair the Hills Squad against the two dominant South Division powerhouses 40 Thieves and San Diego Lacrosse Club. Going to be some very competitive games coming up.
You never know how a season is going to pan out…..especially coming back from a pandemic 400 day layoff during which your players have scattered all over the country…… some players have moved away, some have retired and then there’s the new guys. How will they fit in? And what about the team you’re playing? Are they improved from two years ago when you swept them during the regular season? We are going to find out a lot about ourselves today.
The teams traded possessions for the first five minutes as both teams tried to maximize “touches” and let the game come to them. Unfortunately Newport found the back of the net first taking a 1-0 lead at the 15:07 mark of the first quarter. But the Bucks answered less than a minute later as Steve Brandenburg fed Brett Tietjen for the Hills squad’s first score of the new season. Newport answered less than two minutes later to take back the lead until Devin Maxwell went solo to tie the game at two’s halfway through the quarter. Jack Vonarb followed with another unassisted goal, Devin Maxwell fed new Buck Alex Dixon and Steve Brandenburg fed Eli Lasda putting the Bucks up 5-2 before Newport Beach scored a man up goal off a Bret Tietjen riding slash to close out the quarter. It was a great quarter for Jared Jacobs who went seven for nine at the “X”. Jack Vonarb and JD Johnson combined for three defensive takeaways and both teams kept their turnover numbers low at three per team. Both Buck goalies did well as Morgan Weireter garnered two saves while new Buck goalie Brad Brandenburg had four saves playing for Newport.
The second quarter scoring started with a Jack Vonarb assist to Will McCance who finally traded in his Johns Hopkins lid for an official Hill’s bucket. Three minutes later Will scored again on a feed from Sean Kane. Newport Beach slipped in a “Ganja Goal” at the 4:20 mark in the quarter but Devin spotted Will right off the left pipe and Will didn’t disappoint with a diving goal at the :02 mark as the Bucks walked into halftime with an 8-4 lead. McCance had his first “hat trick” as a Buck…….Was it the new helmet? I’m just saying! Dustin Doty pitched in with a takeaway, Jared went five for five at the “X” and Buck keeper Morgan Weireter had two more saves.
There were only two goals scored in quarter three as George Pertessis went solo at the 13:20 mark and Will McCance got his fourth goal of the afternoon off an Alex Jessup feed. The star of the quarter had to be Buck keeper who garnered six saves for Newport. Certainly a great addition to the roster.
The fourth & final period saw a lot of possession time by both teams. Finally with 5:36 left in the game Steve Brandenburg assisted Bret Tietjen for Bret’s second goal of the afternoon. George Pertessis went unassisted at the 4:20 mark for the second “Ganja Goal” of the afternoon. Devin Maxwell went solo to finish out the Buck’s scoring for the afternoon and with under a minute left Newport answered but it was too little too late as the Hills squad walked off with a 13-5 win.
Next week the Buck will take on the Malibu Lacrosse Club on the road. Game location and start will be posted soon.
As the pandemic continues to affect our daily lives nobody is immune. All scholastic, collegiate and professional sports have been forced to shut down and the SCLAX post collegiate men’s league is no exception. We shut down play the week of March 8th and have had several league meetings about what we can do to salvage the season.
Our latest plan centers on changing our format for this season only in the hopes that we can restart in early September as a one division league instead of the usual North & South divisional format. With each team having played three games before shutdown we have created a new four game schedule in which each team will play every team in the league that it hasn’t previously played. That will leave us with a balanced seven game schedule where every team has played every team in the league once. All games for the remainder of the season that involve long travel are slated to be played at the Great Park in Irvine. If permits for the Great Park are not secured those games will default to the original home team site. Playoffs will start on October 11th. We will take the top four teams regardless of previous division and have the one seed host the four seed and the two seed host the three seed in this winner’s bracket. Additionally the remaining four teams will be seeded into a consolation bracket. The following weekend the two semifinal winners will play for the SCLAX Championship with a nominal South Division team hosting.
Normally the SCLAX Champion will play the winner of the NORCAL post collegiate league. If it can be scheduled the NORCAL team will host. The amended schedule for the remainder of the season is now posted on the sclax.net website.
BUCKS TAKE SOUTH RIVAL 40 THIEVES IN OVERTIME THRILLER
Everyone on the team knew this was going to be a tough game. We knew that in spite of overpowering our opponents in the first two games of the season this was going to be the game that told us how good we were and what we needed to do to get better. We had played this team close over the past ten years…..losing some…..winning some and every game was close featuring small leads and big comebacks and this game was no different.
The first quarter was a little sloppy with the teams feeling each other out and trying to get into a rhythm. But at the 15:45 mark the Thieves finally scored on a rebound of a Morgan Weireter save and it was “Game On”. The teams traded turnovers and short possessions for the next five minutes until Jack Vonarb went solo down the right side and tied the score at one apiece. But the Bucks continued their sloppy play while the Thieves got it together and rattled off four straight goals to go up 5-1 but with just .33 left on the clock James Burton scored with an off crease dodge as the quarter ended with the Thieves up 5-2. The good news? Buck FOGO Jared Jacobs went 4-6 at the “X”. J D Johnson and Eli Lasda each had a takeaway to counter the seven Buck turnovers in the quarter. But nobody was panicking as Buck Coach Eric Baker went over some adjustments with the team.
The Thieves led off the second quarter scoring at the 13:40 mark stretching their lead back to four goals but Brock Livingston answered going solo off the right pipe a minute later. Then with 9:12 remaining in the quarter Brock found Eli Lasda with his hands free and fed him for the score. It was now just a two goal game but with 6:16 left in the half the Thieves answered again as they walked into halftime with a 7-4 lead. Buck netminder saved three shots, Jared Jacobs went 4-4 at the “X” and the Hills squad cut their turnovers in half. J D Johnson added his second takeaway of the game and Mark Bell added his first.
The Thieves stretched their lead out to four goals just 2:20 into the third quarter but things changed dramatically seven minutes later as Sean Kane fed James Burton for his second score of the game. It seemed like the Thieves may have started to tire a little as ground balls and possession time started to go the Bucks way. With 4:40 left Brock Livingston found LSM Johnny Brasko breaking off a clear and Johnny did not disappoint as he fired from downtown to make it a two goal game. Eli Lasda followed with a feed to Jack Vonarb and the Bucks closed out the quarter trailing by one goal down 8-7. Once again Jared was undefeated at the “X” going 5-5 but the big story was the Buck goalie Morgan Weireter as he made spectacular save after save garnering seven in the quarter with two of them diving off stick side and two one on one. New Buck Grant Firestone had a takeaway and the Bucks limited their turnovers to just one in the period……possession is king!
Going into the final quarter down by just one goal the Hills squad felt good considering they were down four at the beginning of the third. Both teams were cautious with the ball as they tried to avoid a costly mistake but with just 12:32 remaining on the clock home field coach Devin Maxwell found Brock Livingston free and fed him for the game tying score. The teams were knotted at eight apiece. But the Thieves weren’t done as an attackman scored on an inside roll to retake the lead with 10:00 showing on the clock. There was still half a quarter to play and the Bucks remained confident. And with exactly three minutes left in the game Devin Maxwell spotted Mikey Doneger up top and Mike did not disappoint as he rocketed a shot into the back of the net for the final score of regulation as the teams were tied 9-98. Faceoffs were split at two apiece for the quarter as Morgan Weireter continued his outrageous play in the cage netting seven more saves while giving up just one goal. Both teams took care of the ball as possession really mattered.
Overtime started with a huge Beverly Hills clean faceoff win and a quick thinking Eric Baker called for a timeout to get the right offence onto the field. The Bucks couldn’t score off the timeout and Morgan had to make two more saves before “the other Lasda” Riley took the ball away from a Thieves carrier and pushed the ball quickly up the field to Devin Maxwell. Devin drove toward the right pipe and shoveled an awkward pass to Mikey Doneger who was cutting off the crease. Mikey had to dive for the pass but he controlled it right off the crease and quicksticked it past the Thieves keeper for the win as the Bucks walked off the field with a 10-9 victory.
The Bucks will travel to Newport Beach next Sunday for an 11:00 matchup with their traditional North Division rival.
The first game of the season is always a crapshoot……you’ve lost some guys from the previous season……..you’ve added some new players……………and who knows what’s going on with the team you are playing? Well we certainly lost some talent but for the first time in a few years the Bucks definitely got younger with the addition of the Lasda brothers Eli & Riley from U of Albany, Grant Firestone from Haverford College, James Burton from Salisbury, Dann Carr from Lehigh University and Adam Lynne from Bucknell University. It’s early but some of the veterans on the team think this may be the best team that the Bucks have assembled since our first trip to the State Championships in 2011…….only time will tell.
But it certainly didn’t take long for the “new guys” to contribute as James Burton hit the back of the net less than a minute into the game going solo at the right pipe. Eli Lasda followed five minutes later and at the 10:14 mark Adam Lynne fed a Steve Brandenburg cutting off the crease and the Bucks were up 3-0. Venice answered with 6:15 left in the quarter but Beverly Hills rattled off two more goals when Adam Lynne fed Brett Tietjen on the left post and again when Brett Tietjen circled behind the cage and fired a backhand shot past the Venice keeper. Venice retaliated with just eight ticks left on the clock and the Bucks lead 5-2 after one. Going against one of the best faceoff guys in the North Division, Ernie Melero close defender Mark Bell held his own in the absence of Buck FOGO Jared Jacobs going three for eight at the “X” in the quarter. Starting keeper Morgan Weireter had seven saves and Kevin Berlandi had a takeaway which all contributed to the three goal differential.
Culver City High School coach started off the second quarter scoring at the 17:34 mark with a shot from up top. Adam Lynne, James Burton and Brock Livingston all followed with solo shots and the Buck advantage moved to 9-2 at the 7:13 mark of the second. Venice scored a minute later But Adam Lynne went solo again and Mikey Doneger closed out the half with a wraparound worm burner at the 1:02 mark giving the Beverly Hills squad an 11-3 lead going into halftime. The Buck defenders wreaked havoc on the Venice squad causing six turnovers while at the same time not allowing the Venice shooters to get their hands free to shoot. The Bucks limited their turnovers to two for the quarter one of which was canceled by a Riley Lasda takeaway.
The third quarter belonged completely to the Hills squad. Steve Brandenburg started off with a solo shot 53 seconds into the quarter and again at the 15:34 mark on a feed from Adam Lynne. Brett Tietjen followed with a shot from downtown, Eli Lasda got in close with a double face dodge, Adam Lynne scored off a clear and Eli fed Brock Livingston at the 2:38 mark to end the third quarter scoring as the Bucks’ lead ballooned to 17-3. First half netminder Morgan Weireter was replaced in goal by New Buck Dan Carr who went unscored upon with three saves in the period. Morgan moved over to the faceoff “X” and went three for seven….damn good.
Mikey Doneger fed Brock Livingston to start off the fourth quarter scoring at the 18:10 mark. Great to have Brock back on the field after his 2019 sabbatical. Venice answered with a one on one matchup with Dan Carr but Devin Maxwell went solo off a face dodge and James Burton fed Will McCance leaving the Bucks up 20-4 with nine left in the game. Venice “found their groove” netting two scores toward the end of the quarter but it was too little too late at Beverly Hills walked off with a 20-6 win on opening day.
All the favorites won in both the North & South SCLAX Divisions on opening day. Next Sunday the Bucks will host the Malibu Lacrosse Club at Culver City High School. The game will faceoff at 1:30.
It was supposed to be a four team offseason tournament but after BUKU and Newport Beach dropped out at the last minute it turned into a two hour contest between a very good MCLA team and the 2019 SCLAX North Division Champions.
The Hills squad was light at midfield and missing their starting FOGO but mixing in a deep attack group with a solid midfield group proved to be the secret ingredient to a successful afternoon. And the deep long pole squad allowed Mark Bell to move to the faceoff “X” and he did not disappoint with a winning combination of speed, strength and technique.
Concordia University got on the board first just two minutes into the game Andrew White got the Bucks evat at 1’s two minutes later with a solo drive off the crease. Concordia doubled down inside to retake the lead halfway through quarter number one but Steve Brandenburg dodged into the lane a few minutes later for the final score of the quarter leaving the game tied at 2’s after one. Morgan Weireter tallied two saves in the period and Mark Bell took two out of five faceoffs. Both team’s offences were crippled by turnovers in the quarter but takeaways by J D Johnson and Mark Bell helped get some possession time back for the Bucks.
Andrew White started off the second quarter scoring with a behind the back feed to a cutting Billy Hedges to put the Bucks up by one. Devin Maxwell followed with a feed to Steve Brandenburg for his second score of the afternoon as the Bucks jumped out to a 4-2 lead. Concordia answered with the next two goals leaving the game tied at four but Dustin Doty picked up a ground ball off a Weireter save and ran the ball over the midfield line and fired from “downtown” putting Beverly Hills up 5-4 at the half. Mark Bell stepped it up and took half of the second quarter faceoffs, Morgan Weireter added three saves one of which was Sports Center worthy and the Bucks cut their turnovers in half.
Devin Maxwell fed Steve Brandenburg from up top for the Buck’s first third quarter score giving Steve a “hat trick” for the afternoon. Steve followed with a feed to Sean Reilly as Beverly Hills built a 7-4 lead but after a simultaneous unsportsmanlike conduct foul sent off one player from each team Concordia found the back of the net and cut their deficit to two goals. A few minutes later they scored again and the third quarter ended with the Bucks ahead by only one goal 7-6. Mark Bell pitched in with three faceoff wins out of five, the Hills squad cut down their turnovers again and Sean Reilly’s takeaway gave Beverly Hills an extra possession.
Clinging to one goal leas every possession was critical and after a Concordia shot went wide Buck defenseman Sean Crane hustles to the end line giving his team the ball. Sean transitioned the ball upfield eventually winding up in Steve Brandenburg’s crosse. Steve took the shot and although the Concordia keeper stopped it he couldn’t hold onto it. It deflected to Andrew White who was in the right place at the right time and the Hills lead increased to 8-6. Alex Jessup followed with a shot from way downtown which snuck under the crossbar giving Beverly Hills a 9-6 lead with under four minutes to play. Concordia scored again but it was too little too late and Beverly Hills walked away with a 9-7 win.
The Bucks will look to get in a couple more preseason games including their annual faceoff against UCSB.