Wolverines lose Mission League opener to Crespi, defeat Chaminade

Mila Barzdukas

Consistency was key  for the Wolverines in defeating Chaminade 17-3  in their second league game Saturday.

“We played hard the whole game,” Andrew Corlin ’15 said of the win. “We didn’t just show up in the second half.”

“Our offense and defense really focused and executed our plays properly and it showed on the scoreboard,” Andrew Park ’15 added.

While the Wolverines are working to play consistently, the team has not met that goal in a few of their games this season.

“It’s hard to make up early deficits against good teams,” Park said. “We need to make sure we play all four quarters.”

The Wolverines play almost as many non-league games as league games. Scattered throughout their league schedule, these games give Harvard-Westlake a chance to boost their record and test themselves against teams they could face in playoffs.

The Wolverines faced JSerra on Friday.  The team started slow, falling behind 0-4 in the first quarter. Despite a strong effort on offense in the second half, the Wolverines lost to the Cavaliers 9-11.

“They’re a good team,” defensive midfielder Joey Lieberman ’14 said. “They have a lot of big-time players.”

The Wolverines first route came in a decisive 13-3 win against Malibu March 11.

“Our offense executed really well,” goalkeeper Ben Klein ’14 said on the success of the game. “They went through the plays and executed them really well. They were passing really well and were really crisp. Our defense worked on our fundamentals. Going over our basic defense helped us to get back in the game.”

“The defense played solidly throughout the whole game,” defensive midfielder Joe Woody ’15 added.

The first league game against Crespi ended in a loss for the Wolverines. The Wolverines failed to capitalize on the five penalties earned by the Celts. Considered a highly touted league matchup, both teams did not disappoint, with the Celts scoring the tie breaking goal in the last minute of the game. The Wolverines lost 13-14.

“We got scored on six times man-down,” Woody said. “And we were man-up six times but we only scored once.”

“I think we could easily beat Crespi,” Klein said. “I don’t think we had a great game when we played them. Next time we play them we will be them at home.”

Klein believes the Wolverines’ league hopes are still valid.

“We have a really good shot at a league championship,” Klein said. “And we have a really good shot of making a big berth for playoffs.”

If the Wolverines want the league title, they still have some tuning up to do according to Klein.

“I think we need to work on talking on defense,” Klein said of the team’s biggest weakness.

“Some of our middies don’t know when people are sliding out, when they’re supposed to go and when they’re supposed to come back. We have to work a little bit on everything because we’re playing some really good teams this year. We need to get to that next level to be able to beat these teams.”

While defense is being worked on, Head Coach and Program Head Alex Weber has found his offensive lineup with attackmen Oliver Levitt ’15 and Roman Holthouse ’15. Holthouse has scored 5 or more goals in multiple games this season.

Levitt is not far behind. Midfielder Phil Thompson ’16 is also a strong contributor to the team. In addition to winning over 90 percent of his faceoffs against Chaminade, he scored one goal and had one assist.

“Thompson has been helping us out a lot,” Klein said. “He’s been winning over 60% of his face-offs and getting the ball to offense.

The Wolverines played Palisades Charter in a non-league game on Monday, but results were unavailable as of press time.

The next league game is against Loyola March 20. Klein believes the game will be very competitive due to the rise of lacrosse in Los Angeles.

“I think Loyola is really good this year,” Klein said. “We scrimmaged them earlier this year and beat them but it was a scrimmage so everything was really relaxed.”

The team is practicing for the matchup by working on defense in practice.

“We have got to make sure that all of us understand our slide packages and clears,” Park said.

Initial losses have not dampened Lieberman’s league and playoff hopes, and he remains optimistic about the team’s chances to win league.

“I can guarantee we’ll win league,” Lieberman said.