Corona del Mar's Eric Fries celebrates a goal during a game against Brighton on Friday.

It gets messy, but CdM knocks off Brighton


NEWPORT BEACH – Top-ranked lacrosse wasn’t afforded top-notch conditions as the skies opened up and soaked the fields at Corona del Mar High on Friday afternoon.

But what’s a little water and mud among boys?

Corona del Mar built a six-point lead in the fourth quarter then held off hard-charging Brighton of Utah to win a tight-checking affair, 11-10.

“They kept fighting and we knew they would keep fighting,” Corona del Mar coach G.W. Mix said. “ It was good for us to pull that off there in the end and build a little bit of confidence in bigger games down the road.”

Corona del Mar (2-0) and Brighton (5-2) are ranked No. 7 and 10, respectively, in the West Region by Inside Lacrosse.

“It’s really important,” Mix said of playing top teams. “They (Brighton) feel the same way, that’s why they came all the way out here. It’s a big part of why we made sure we got the game in today.”

After a half-hour delay because of heavy rain and strong wind in the area, the teams took to the sloppy field but didn’t devolve to sloppy play.

“We were all pumped up at first, and then it all kind of set in,” Sea Kings leading scorer Stephen Von der Ahe said. “Everybody is getting muddy. Water in your shoes, but it’s still a fun game.”

Ball control was essential in a first half with long possessions and few, if any, transition opportunities. CdM held the lead at halftime, 7-5, with two goals and two assists from Jordan Greenhall.

The Sea Kings took control in the third quarter with two goals by Von der Ahe and a man-up goal by Sachin Gokhale for a 10-5 lead.

Von der Ahe put in another goal early in the fourth quarter for his sixth of the game and an 11-5 lead.

CdM tried to wind down the clock with possession in the box. Brighton forced turnovers on CdM stalls and scored five consecutive goals with the last one coming with 15 seconds left.

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