Photo credits to Bob Dahlberg
Last Friday, the boys’ lacrosse team lost an extremely close game to the Junipero Serra Padres, with an ending score of 7-5. The Bears entered the game with just one loss and two massive wins by 8 and 16 points, respectively.
The game had a rough start for M-A, as the Padres won the face-off and scored within the first five minutes, immediately bringing the score to 1-0. The rest of the first quarter was characterized by impressive offensive playing by the Bears, with quick, clean passes, strong drives, and multiple face-off wins by sophomore Eric Torre.
Sophomore goalkeeper Olivier Yuk made multiple very strong saves, keeping the crowd’s energy strong. Juniors Peter Koren and Calvin Annison both scored, Koren off of a drive in the second possession of the game, and Annison remarkably far out from the goal towards the end of the quarter. Nonetheless, quarter one ended 3-2, with Serra on top.
Quarter two began with an injury on the part of a Serra athlete four minutes in which stalled the game. The game restarted with an M-A possession, with senior Tyler Atkinson consistently picking up ground balls throughout the game and keeping M-A in control at the start of the second quarter. Koren scored again early in the quarter, tying the score at three goals apiece. Through the rest of the quarter, Serra largely kept possession as M-A sent many balls out of bounds, but the Bears fought back as Atkinson, senior Harrison Frye, and juniors Jack Kryger and Baron Kadivar stole the ball.
Longtime Junior Varsity coach Bradley Buchanan said, “It’s really fun to see Harrison Frye on defense. Harrison’s really fast, he plays aggressively. I really like watching Tyler Atkinson too on the attack; he’s just developed so much since a few years ago. As their JV coach, it’s really fun to see those two guys shining on this level.” The first half of the game ended with a score of 3-3.
At the start of quarter three, Serra won the face-off and scored almost immediately, bringing the score to 4-3. Annison and Kryger were on top of ground balls, though the quarter included multiple devastating steals by the Padres. Sophomore Colin Kryger scored, tying the score at four points, but this was immediately followed by Serra intercepting a pass from Yuk. Quarter three ended with a tie at four points.
Going into the last period of the game, Torre won the face-off, but Serra acquired the ball and scored with ten minutes left in the quarter, bringing the score to 5-4. After this decisive goal, the Bears’ mindset shifted noticeably.
M-A began to play more angrily and desperately, getting a yellow flag and making multiple unsuccessful drives that gave up possession each time. Serra scored again halfway through the quarter, casting a somber cloud over the game. Serra stayed on top of ground balls, resulting in their third goal of the last quarter with four minutes left in the game. This made the score 7-4. Shortly after, Colin Kryger scored another goal, bringing M-A back within two goals. In the last few minutes of the game, M-A was shooting constantly, as Annison, Colin Kryger, Koren, and Atkinson attempted multiple close shots. However, the Bears did not score any further goals. In the last minute of the game, Serra kept possession by running out the clock, as the person in possession ran circles around the field until the clock stopped.
After the game, Atkinson said, “We need to work on our urgency on offense, but at the same time make smart and safe decisions with the ball.”
Koren also added, “I think our team chemistry is top tier, we all have each other’s backs, we are still super confident about the rest of the team, and we are getting better and better every practice and every game.”