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Lacrosse preview: Foothill has same goals, new attack

STAFF WRITER

Last season ended with disappointment for the Foothill boys lacrosse team.

The Knights lost to St. Margaret’s in the O.C. Championship game, and the Tartans went on to also capture the season’s other big prize, the Southern Section title.

Foothill is determined to claim those titles this season.

“We’re working hard as a team,” Coach Jon Fox said. “We have some new guys ready to make their name.”

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BOYS PREVIEW

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Foothill will have a new starting defense to put around returning goalie Ryan Blank.

Offensively, Kevin Kodzis and Nathan Skeen will look to replace the loss of the team’s top scorer last season, Nate Marano, who scored 99 goals in 2015.

“Our goal every year is to win the title and that doesn’t change,” Fox said. “From the third grade, that’s what they want. They’re working hard each day and we have a tough schedule that will prepare us for that.”

Foothill is off to a 2-0 start, having defeated Oak Park, 20-3, and Los Alamitos, 11-3.

“We’re a work in progress,” Fox said. “We’re trying to play smarter and more efficient. In the past years, we tried to create chaos and playing more up-tempo. This year, we trying to be a little more controlled and scheming.”

RACE FOR GIRLS TITLES

Foothill’s girls won both the O.C. and Southern Section titles last season. The Knights have the talent to make a run at a repeat season.

But don’t overlook Mater Dei, which lost to Beckman in the semifinals of the Orange County Championships a yearo ago.

Mater Dei returns a strong nucleus, led by Grace Houser, Mackenzie Wallevand, Lauren Gonzales, Madeline Hooks and Courtney Wallburger. All four players are juniors.

Senior Alexia Hipsher returns as Mater Dei’s teamcaptain.

NOTES

The annual Rose Bowl Jamboree Girls Tournament takes place Saturday. Final-round games begin at 4 p.m. The results do not count toward the regular season records. There will be 32 CIF teams competing in four divisions. … Susan England is the new girls lacrosse coach at Los Alamitos. … Brendan Fowler, who played on Duke’s national championship teams in 2013 and 2014, is the new coach at JSerra. ... The OC/LA Invitational takes place Saturday at Los Alamitos. There will be three games: Loyola of Los Angeles vs. Great Oak, 10 a.m., St. Margaret’s vs. Foothill, noon, and Los Alamitos vs. Oak Park, 2 p.m. ... The O.C. Championship semifinals are May 7 and the finals take place May 11. The Southern Section finals are May 14. Sites to be announced.

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GIRLS PREVIEW

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