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Foothill makes it four consecutive O.C. titles
The Knights have a tough time beating Corona del Mar, 14-11, in the U.S. Lacrosse Division I South final.
LAGUNA HILLS - Foothill's boys lacrosse team captured its fourth consecutive county title Tuesday night, but it wasn't easy - far from it.
Top-seeded Corona del Mar made the Knights work until the final minutes, but Foothill prevailed, 14-11, in the U.S. Lacrosse Division I South finals in front of 2,633 Tuesday night at Laguna Hills.
No. 2 Foothill (17-4) moves on to face Mira Costa of Manhattan Beach in the the Southern California finals Friday at 8 p.m. at Valencia High.
"We got four more quarters to go," Foothill coach Jon Fox said. "This is for Orange County. It feels great, these guys worked hard, it's a new group of kids. It's all about those guys, they worked hard and they earned it.
"We just hustled and I think we were able to win the battle in between the boxes this time and that made the difference."
Foothill was led by Eric Adamson, who had his best game of the year scoring five goals.
"All the hard work paid off, all the practices and running," Adamson said. "It wasn't easy at all, this was probably our hardest victory, but we still need to work just as hard."
Cameron Cole, Cooper Pickell and Taylor DeBerry added two goals each for the Knights. Goalie Nathan Kleponis had another big game with seven saves.
"It's great to win it, not once but four times," Kleponis said. "That's something that not too many programs can ever say, so I'm really happy about it. It was a close game and CdM is a good team so we definitely had to bring it all four quarters.
"If we let down, they would easily catch up to us."
It marked the second consecutive year Foothill has defeated Corona del Mar in the county finals. The Knights won last year's final, 10-8.
Corona del Mar (18-3) was led by Ryan Mix, Michael Ortlieb and Michael Keasey, who scored two goals each.
The Sea Kings tied the score, 9-9, on a goal by Jack Ortlieb with 11:07 left in the game. But Adamson countered with two straight goals to give the Knights an 11-9 lead.
Foothill was able to hang on after that.
"It's tough, certainly for our seniors, it's difficult, they really wanted to avenge that loss from last year, but they worked really hard all year," Corona del Mar coach G.W. Mix said. "But at the end of the day, I don't think anybody expected us to be here and in this game. In the preseason rankings in the county, we were six and seven and our kids fought through that all year."
Mix credited Foothill for the victory
"These were two good teams, they're a terrific team, they're well coached and their kids play really hard," Mix said. "They're big, they're strong and they're athletic and they just made a few more nice plays than we did tonight at all the right times.
"My hats off to them, they were terrific."