Lacrosse suffers last-second playoff loss to Agoura

By David Kolin

After finishing its regular season undefeated, the lacrosse team lost to Agoura 11-10 at home in the first round of CIF playoffs May 3. The team had played Agoura once before at home during the regular season and won 8-6 on March 24. At the conclusion of the season, the Wolverines’ overall record was 13-1, and their league record was 8-0.

The Wolverines trailed Agoura 10-6 with eight minutes left in their first playoff game, but they managed to rally back after a timeout and score four more goals.

“We hadn’t been playing our game the entire game, and then we were just like ‘we got to pick this up,’” midfielder Daniel Edelstein ’11 said.

The teams remained tied with only one minute left. With the time about to run out, goalie Matthew Mantel ’12 fought for the ball behind the net and, after managing to get possession, heaved the ball upfield. The ball was intercepted by an Agoura player, who scored on an empty goal with 0.1 seconds left in the game.

“We didn’t stick to what got us to a 13-0 record,” Edelstein said. “We kind of changed up what we did to play against Agoura. I think we just got away from what got us 13 wins in a row.”

“I think everybody expected to beat Agoura and then have a big match-up against Mira Costa in the quarter finals,” Edelstein said. “I wouldn’t say we overlooked them, but I don’t think we took Agoura as seriously as we should have.”

Against Agoura, the Wolverines were charged with nine penalties while Agoura only had one penalty.

“The officiating was pretty lopsided and pretty suspect, but you can never really blame the referees,” Edelstein said. “I wouldn’t blame the referees, but it was definitely a big factor in that game.”

This season, the lacrosse team beat rival Loyola both at home and away. At home, the Wolverines crushed the Cubs 17-4. However, the team’s second game against Loyola was far closer. The Wolverines managed to win by one goal after three overtimes and captured the Mission League title.

The Wolverines beat Palisades 8-4 on April 28 even though many players on the team expected it to be a tough matchup.

Cory Wizenberg ’11, an attackman, won “Player of the Year” in the Mission League. He had the most points of anyone on his team with 42 goals and 36 assists.

Wizenberg believes that a sense of family helped the team have one of its best seasons in school history.

“The game is set up so that one extra pass will get you the goal, instead of just one person going for the goal, so I think playing for the team instead of playing for yourself [helps],” Edelstein said.

This season was Head Coach Matt Lewis’ first coaching the school’s lacrosse team after it was announced at the end of last season that Coach Mark Haddad would not return this year.

“He promoted discipline and being a family and just playing for the person next to you, not for yourself, and just prepared us better [than last year’s coach] day in and day out,” Wizenberg said.

Edelstein and Wizenberg predict that future seasons will be as successful if not more so because of the strong freshman class.

“If everybody just keeps working hard, there is no reason there would be a big drop off after this year,” Edelstein said.