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Huntington Beach tops JSerra in playoff opener
The Oilers move on to face top-seeded Corona del Mar.
HUNTINGTON BEACH – Huntington Beach's boys lacrosse team took command early in the final quarter Tuesday evening and defeated JSerra, 6-4, in the opening round of the U.S. Lacrosse Division 1 South playoffs at Huntington Beach.
The eighth-seeded Oilers move on to the second round Thursday against top-seeded Corona del Mar at Corona del Mar.
Ninth seeded JSerra, which was co-Trinity League champion, kept it close through three quarters.
Huntington Beach (9-7) held a 4-3 lead but goals by Alex Kowalski and Grant Lowman gave the Oilers a three goal cushion.
It marked the second year in a row Huntington Beach has defeated JSerra in the opening round of the playoffs. The Oilers won last year, 10-6.
"It was a big win for us, we've been looking forward to that one for a while," Huntington Beach Coach Brian Dunn said. "We knew that JSerra has had a really strong season. It was just about staying disciplined and keeping our seniors playing for another day."
Kowalski and Lowman had two goals each for JSerra. Taylor Refice and David Abady had one goal each for the Oilers.
Dunn was also pleased with the offensive play of senior Geoffrey Lunsk and the defensive efforts of seniors Dallas Heyden and Ryan Harchut.
"Those guys have been working hard," Dunn said.
Goalkeeper Trevor Jackson had a solid game, recording 12 saves.
"I knew I was going to get a good game out of Trevor," Dunn said. "As long as our defense stayed tight and relied on Trevor, Trevor would step up and he made a ton of huge saves when it was close and helped us extend that lead a little bit. He's a pretty consistent player."
JSerra was led by James Yanes and Chase Janikowski, who had two goals each. Goalkeeper Ryan Suttle had nine saves.
First-year JSerra coach Kyle Harrison was hoping for a better performance by his young squad.
"Honestly I'm disappointed for our seniors because we came out here and I don't think we played very hard," Harrison said. "Give Huntington Beach a lot of credit. They ran their stuff and they did a nice job on faceoffs, and their goalie played well and they came out and played hard on their home field.
"That was the difference in the game, their effort compared to our's. They outplayed us, there's nothing else to say."
However, Harrison is looking forward to next year with many talented players returning.
"The future is bright, we're excited," Harrison said. "I'm very sad to see the seniors go but we've got to keep moving forward."