Foothill wins showdown with JSerra
TUSTIN - A defensive switch in the second half proved to be beneficial for Foothill boys lacrosse coach John Fox and the Knights.
After allowing eight goals in the first half against third-seeded JSerra (7-1), the Knights’ (11-0) defense held the Lions scoreless for the second half, leading to a 13-8 nonleague home victory Thursday night at Tustin High.
Foothill goalkeeper Ryan Blank had 11 saves.
“We had a few defenses planned and we knew the first one could have some problems,” Fox said. “We changed up the second half. We went to more of a zone look, instead of man look and had a little bit more support for our guys.”
With the defense shutting down the Lions, the Knights’ offense supplied the final knockout blow.
In the third period, Drew Boyd scored his second goal of the night to give the Knights the lead for good, 9-8, with 4:49 lead.
“We were getting good looks all game, their goalie was making great saves, but we weren’t finishing it,” Fox said. “That changed down the stretch and we started putting some past him.
“They have some tremendous players which we knew and some great shooters and they showed it tonight. I think it is a real good chance we’ll play them again in the playoffs.”
Boyd was one of three Foothill players to score at least three goals. Kevin Kodzis had three and Nate Marano had four, with all four coming in the second period.
“We had a lot of turnovers, we always do, we’re a high-scoring offense,” Boyd said. “Our defense played great in the second half and we were finishing our shots.”
Boyd also added two assists.
JSerra led, 5-2, after the first period and 7-3 with 6:12 left in the second after Matt Karzak’s goal.
The Knights rallied to tie the score at 7-7 (three goals from Marano and one from Kodzis). With 5.6 left in the second period, JSerra’s Jake Schleppy scored to give the Lions an 8-7 lead going into halftime.
“We played them in the CIF championship game last year and we down 3-0 and we came back and won,” Boyd said. “I wasn’t nervous. I don’t think anyone else was. We knew we can do it and we somehow pull it off.
“I don’t know what’s going on in the first half, things are a little rough, but we’re a second half team.”
Foothill defeated JSerra twice last season, 13-12 in a nonleague game and 12-8 in the final.
Schleppy, James Yanes and Karzak each scored two goals for the Lions.
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