NEWPORT BEACH MOVES INTO A FIRST PLACE TIE WITH BEVERLY HILLS AS THEY NET THE GAME WINNER IN THE FIFDTH OVERTIME. BEVERLY HILLS WILL HOST THE BOMBERS NEXT SUNDAY AT 1:00
BUCKS TAKE LOSS IN FIFTH OVERTIME
The Beverly Hills post collegiate squad traveled down to Peninsula Park in Newport Beach expecting to end the day 4-0 and alone in first place in the very competitive SCLAX North Division. Just two weeks earlier they faced Beachcomber with a full squad and although they didn’t play well they walked away with a two goal win. Today, missing some of their high octane scorers they played well enough to take the game through four overtimes but couldn’t keep up with Newport in the fifth and lost 10-9.
The game was tight right from the getko as it took almost eight minutes for the Bucks to score when close defender Shane Sweigart broke free off a settled clear and put the Bucks ahead 1-0. But the lead didn’t last long as Newport took an interior feed off the crease and tied the game at the 9:20 mark. Andrew White picked up a loose ball off a broken clear and put the Bucks up one at the 7:30 mark but again, Newport answered with a midfield rip to knot the score at 2’s. Two minutes later Newport scored again and took their first lead of the game with the quarter ending with the Bucks down 3-2.
It didn’t take long for Beverly Hills to tie the score again as Alex Jessup tossed a hockey assist to Brock Livingston who fed Andrew White for a score at the 15:06 mark. Beverly Hills followed with unanswered goals by Brock Livingston from the midfield on a feed from Lee Alexanderson and a Casey Costello solo shot at the 8:19 mark. It looked like Beverly Hills might break the game open as they had their first two goal lead of the afternoon. But the teams traded goals starting with a Newport score off a pick followed by a triple teamed Andrew White score off a Brock Livingston flip and a final Newport shot from the midfield. Beverly Hills wasn’t playing great but they were able to take a 6-5 lead into halftime. A combination of Tony Cavalero, Lee Alexanderson & Mark Bell managed to take 8 out of the 13 face offs in the half. But the Bucks were on the negative side in turnovers as they gave up seven against only three take aways, two by Shane Sweigart and one by JD Johnson. Dustin Doty led the Bucks with two critical ground balls and first half keeper Morgan Weireter had seven saves. As was expected, the Beverly Hills close “D” and “D” middies were keeping Beverly Hills in the game.
Scoring was hard to come by in the third quarter but Newport Beach finally broke through at the 9:10 mark to tie the game at 6-6. But Beverly Hills answered with two of their own as Alex Jessup got another hockey assist dishing to Casey Costello who played it forward to Andrew White for his first four goal game as a Buck. But Andrew was far from done as he hit the back of the net with just 1:20 left in the third as he was able to fire past a double team. It was Beverly Hills up 8-6 after three.
Andrew White scored his sixth & final goal of the afternoon to give the Bucks their biggest lead of the afternoon at 9-6. Things were looking up. But Newport came back with three successive goals starting with a deflection off a Beverly Hills defenders stick and ending with a fast break score at the 6:20 mark. The teams traded possessions for the final six plus minutes but both goalkeepers were uncrackable. Second half Beverly Hills keeper matched first half keeper Morgan Wiereter’s totals as he garnered seven saves. We were headed to overtime.
Did I say overtime? I should have said overtimes as it would take five overtimes to settle this one. Beverly Hills won the face offs in overtimes #1 & #4 while Newport Beach took the face in #2 & #3. Beverly Hills took the face in the fifth overtime but could not get a clean shot off. A costly turnover gave the ball back to Newport and they wasted no time firing the game winner into the net for the 10-9 overtime win. With the San Diego Lacrosse Club’s 14-13 victory over the South Bay Lacrosse Club, the loss puts Beverly Hills into a first place tie with Newport Beach in the North Division with South Bay moving into the three spot. Next Sunday the Bucks will host the Bombers at Culver City High School in a SCLAX North Division matchup. Game time is 1:00.
A few players have asked about the new website banner that was posted last week so I’d like to explain my thinking. As is often the case the picture speaks for itself. Its #11 Sean Kane celebrating #18 Conor O’toole’s overtime winner against Beachcomber in the 2016 SCLAX Socal Championship game. But that’s only part of the story as the array of game shorts starting with the black shorts worn in our inaugural 2007 season transition to the blue shorts worn by the team today.
The black shorts were a last minute decision as Eric Baker who was coaching for me at Beverly Hills High School and I agreed that between us we knew of enough players to put together a team that could play with the likes of South Bay, 40 Thieves and the now defunct Hollywood Lacrosse Club. Our Beverly Hills Coaching staff alone created the nucleus of the team with Head Coach Tim Ray, Notre Dame faceoff middie Greg Glenday and Navy faceoff middie Perry Taylor. We had the numbers, a good core group but we were a little light in the goal. Those black shorts with our orange reversibles were getting old fast as we didn’t win a game the first two years although we took South Bay to overtime in year two and played a couple of other teams close.
In 2008 we knew we were starting to get some respect around the league as some familiar names permeated the squad…..John Brasko, Ray Erikson, Billy Wren, Kevin Berlandi who rejoined the Bucks this year, Mike Delabar and one of our biggest game changers, Dash Pomerantz who stepped into the cage. But everything really started to come together in 2009 when we switched to the white shorts. Casey Costello from UMass, Lee Alexanderson from RPI, Seth Cohen from Gettysburg, Sam Vollen from Syracuse and Michael Doneger from Johns Hopkins all joined the team as we started to draw some serious players. Adam Liegner from Vanderbilt also joined that year giving us two strong goalies. We all know how important numbers are in post collegiate ball as our roster grew to 32 players. We opened that season with a 12-10 win over Hollywood LC, the “jewel” of the league. That was more of a statement than a win because it was our first. We followed up the following week with an 11-5 win over a very strong Newport Beach club before losing to Adrenaline 8-6 in the next week. But we were on the map and lots of people wanted to play for us.
We were very optimistic going into the 2010 season as we figured “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” and kept our white shorts. 2010 was a strong recruiting year as we added Brett Tietjen from Hofstra at attack, U of Penn’s Alex Weber at the midfield, Hobart’s Alex Jessup and our first UCSB alumni, James Guzik who settled into a close “D” anchored by Sam Vollen, John Brasko and Navy’s Paul Haberlein. Harvard’s Garret Schabb joined us at the faceoff “X” and we were ready to “rock n’roll”. Keep in mind that as we added some of the players that I mentioned, not too many guys were leaving. It was a fun team to play on. We weren’t the only team that was improving as the game grew out here on the coast. But we were competitive with everyone except San Diego’s Quiksilver Lacrosse Club.
So what do you do when you’re close to the top of the mountain? You upgrade your uniforms of course and that’s exactly what we did as we added orange shooter jerseys to the white shorts in 2011. Now I’m not saying they came for the new uniforms or just to play with Big James Guzik but all of a sudden we were “Gaucho Rich” as longpole Chris Schaible, middy Greg Fish and David Gorham joined the team along with U of Denver’s Cory Schaeffler and Claremont’s Phillip Trapp. Interestingly enough, all six of those guys played together at RLS Stevenson Prep in Pebble Beach. Skidmore College’s Charlie McNeill and Brendan Luftus, a ‘Cuse grad also joined the midfield and we were ready to take on anybody. We had won the SCLAX North Division in 2010. This year we won it all and despite being blown out by Olympic Club (Sean Kane & Nick Smith played on that team) we were a very satisfied club. But let’s get back to the uniforms.
We decided to go full blown orange in 2012 including our Cascade CPX team helmets. We continued to add strong players.. But a combination of a smaller roster, a tough schedule and players who couldn’t make a lot of the big games couldn’t be overcome. Going into the playoffs with a 9-1 record and beating Newport twice during the season the Bucks to Newport Beach in the second round of the playoffs.
Despite the downswing (we hadn’t missed the playoffs since 2008), we decided to keep our orange fashion statement and fill in some holes for the 2013 season. Devin Maxwell joined the squad after graduation and Stony Brook’s Scott Rothstein joined keeper Dash Pomerantz and replaced Adam Liegner & Sam Bennet in the cage. UCLA’s Alex Shen was added at close “D” and LSM. Ohio State’s Bryce Woodson and Middlebury’s Skyler Hopkins joined Devin in the midfield and Amherst attackman Evan Redwood stepped into a huge role at attack. The team placed second in the regular season and once again lost to Newport Beach in the SCLAX North Division finals.
We were going into the 2014 season and we were now two years removed from our last SCLAX Division Championship let alone the SCLAX SOCAL Championship. So what do you do? Well you change your uniforms….out with the orange and in with the gray. Our “D” was as strong as ever but we wanted to add some depth so we picked up Crespi High School All American and Wagner LSM Dustin Doty and his high school coach Brock Livingston who was going to anchor our new attack. We also added Johns Hopkins darting attackman Will McCance and another RLS alumni Kyle Peterson. With Evan Redwood still on the team and another RLS and UNC player joining in, points were not going to be a problem but just to make sure we added Jordan Bar and C J Jacobs at the midfield. Beverly Hills split with South Bay and swept Newport during the regular season. They took Newport 8-3 in the first round of the playoffs but their North Division finals opponent, South Bay was just too strong as their season ended with a 19-10 loss.
Beverly Hills was happy to go through the 2015 season with their gray uniforms but they were not happy about failing to get to the SCLAX SOCAL finals for three straight years. They needed to get their roster size up so they wouldn’t get stuck short on numbers when too many players had other commitments on game day. And they didn’t just add numbers……they added quality as in defenders and high school buddies Sean Crane who played at U of Colorado Boulder and J D Johnson who played at U of Michigan. Then we added another standout goalie Michael Levin, Brown All American and MLL Lizards goalie. Mike found Harvard teammates Sean Kane & Nick Smith and J D coaxed Conor O’toole onto the team and we were set for a run. The final piece of the puzzle was FOGO Cyle Moskowitz who would become a dominant faceoff specialist in tandem with faceoff middy Nick Smith.
Well who can forget the 2016 uniform “upgrade”? Yellow? Who the hell came up with that one. But you have to admit….we were noticed and we rode them right up through a second consecutive SCLAX SOCAL Championship. It was a great offseason as we added standouts like Tyler Hill, Dave Taylor, Alex Marcus, Tyler Landis, Alex de la Pena and Andrew Marcus to the midfield. Alex Jessup rejoined the club and as if our “D” wasn’t strong enough Shane Sweigart & Mark Bell stepped in to defensive roles. Combined to the talent we already had, that new group took us to starting with the ball in overtime against Olympic Club in the State Championship game.
That Championship game wetted our appetite but 2017 started off with the loss of a lot of talent. Skyler Hopkins moved up North, long time Buck and defensive standout James Guzik moved to Sacramento, Buck defensive anchor John Brasko changed jobs preventing him from playing, Andrew Mosko & Kyle Peterson went back East, FOGO Cyle Moskowitz went back to school, Tyler Landis jumped ship to South Bay, and SCLAX SOCAL Championship game winner Conor O’toole moved to Texas……….time to get out of the yellow and into some new blue uniforms thanks to Herbalife. The one thing about success on the field is that it really helps with bringing in new players and that’s what we did. WE filled in at attack with UCSB assistant coach Andrew White and Brandon Biaggi. With Cyle Moskowitz back in school, Tony Cavalero came out of retirement to help the team at the face off “X” giving some breathing room to Nick Smith. And you can never have enough defenders. Kyle Standiford joined the team and we all saw what he did last Sunday against Beachcomber. And by the way, have you looked in the cage lately? Michael Gvozden is no longer the enemy as the former Blue Jay is now sharing keeper responsibilities with Morgan Weireter. If one of these keepers can’t make a game we are still in great shape. What if both of these standouts are missing?....we have long time Beverly Hills goalie Dash Pomerantz and former MLL Lizard keeper Michael Levin waiting in the wings.
Eleven years and there are only two things that Beverly Hills has not done……win the State Championship and start a season 3-0……….Well we are now 3-0.