The 2009 Foothill Knights JV Boys Lacrosse team completed a 2nd half comeback that parents and coaches will be talking about for years to come. Legendary college basketball coach Jim Valvano told the sports world in a 1993 speech:
”Don’t Give Up. Don’t Ever Give Up”
And so, down 3-0 with 5:29 to go in the third quarter, the JV squad came to life on offense to outscore the Mavericks 8-1 in the final quarter and a half. This included seven unanswered goals in the final twelve minute. This was a game for the ages….
The game began Saturday following a convincing 6-1 victory by the Frosh-Soph lacrosse team. The mood of the team was upbeat and confident as the preceeding week produced convincing victories for all three boys lacrosse squads. This game was clearly the biggest traditional game of the year and a victory would cement the reputation of the talented team.
Coach Dominic Guevara knew that Foothill would have to keep the game close as La Costa Canyon had a history of making half-time adjustments to put opponents away in the second half. This and the fact that JV started games slowly, and the pressure was clearly on the defense, particularly sophomore goalie Zack Schenker and the middies.
The first quarter saw both teams checking and probing the other trying to find weaknesses. Shots were contested by aggressive long-pole defenders and fresh middies. La Costa attackers sent shots wide and high and Foothill answered with shot attempts that were easily handled by Mavericks goalie #9 Kyle Svendsen. The first quarter ended with the score tied 0-0.
The second quarter began and the hitting by both teams increased. Ground balls were contested by two, three and sometimes four players with the successful player promptly getting his stick hit and cries of “ball down” rang out. Led by long-pole defensemen #19 Chance Cooper, #7 Sean Feeney, #8 Brad Gustafson, #9 Connor Cummins, #2 Alex Keuilian, and #27 Bryan Kift, the Knights are an extremely talented group of athletes who could be starting on Varsity for many Orange County programs. All six came in and played La Costa’s attack and middies straight up. Along with goalie Zack Schenker, who was outstanding all day in recording 13 saves on 17 shots, they were keeping the Knights in the game while the offense was warming up.
La Costa Canyon middie #4 Nick Compagiannis attempts shot as Foothill middie #12 Josh Peterman, defenseman #7 Sean Feeney, and middie #14 Travis Mann provide pressure in front of goalie Zack Schenker.
La Costa attacker #24 scored the game’s first goal midway through the second period on a running shot from the right side.
La Costa's attack #1 Sean Hayden is forced to miss a shot after being hit by Knights defenseman #9 Connor Cummins. The Mavericks led 1-0 at halftime.
La Costa Canyon JV lacrosse went into halftime leading Foothill 1-0 Saturday evening.
Both teams then made multiple defensive stands and the Mavericks led 1-0 going into half-time.
Foothill Knights JV lacrosse defensemen #19 Chance Cooper, #9 Connor Cummins, and #7 Sean Feeney take position at the start of the 3rd quarter against La Costa Canyon Saturday as the La Costa Canyon varsity filed in and watched from the sidelines.
With both varsity lacrosse squads filing out onto the sidelines and increasingly interested in the
unfolding drama, the speed and tempo of the game picked up and both teams started taking driving shots on goal.
La Costa attack #2 Chase Toomey scored at 7:15 of the third quarter and put his team up 2-0.
#11 Sammy Condurso followed nearly two minutes later with a right-handed shot to make it 3-0 halfway through the third quarter. The Mavericks were sensing the young Knights were struggling and another goal run might put the game away.
La Costa attack #11 Sammy Condurso scores at 5:29 of the 3rd quarter Saturday against Foothill. The Mavericks led 3-0.
But JV said “I don’t think so…”, won the face-off, and 14 seconds later scored what might be the most important goal of the season: Middie #22 Josh Peterman grabbed a loose ball while sprinting at midfield, looked off the Mavericks defense to right, where #33 Eric Adamson was setting up, and came back to his left to hit #12 attack Andrew Dainko to the left of the goal who made a quick shot into the lower left from two yards out:
3-1….the Knights were not done yet……
Foothill Knights JV lacrosse attack Andrew Dainko scores the first goal for Foothill at 5:15 of the 3rd quarter. Mavericks 3, Knights 1.
Not by a long shot.
La Costa answered a little over 2 minutes later, increasing their lead back to 3 goals at 4-1, on a left-handed shot by #4 Nick Compagiannis from the left side.
With two minutes remaining in the third quarter, the JV Knights began an improbable run of 7 straight goals over the next 12 minutes of the game.
First, #33 attack Eric Adamson scored on a left-handed runner from the right side at 1:17 left on the clock to cut the deficit to 4-2. Adamson was hit as he shot by La Costa’s #23 who seconds later fell to the turf from effects of the hard hit.
Foothill JV attack #33 Eric Adamson scores Knights second goal in the third quarter.
Then, #15 attack Daniel “Cheesecake” Castillo scored from ten yards out over a charging long-pole defender #21 Sam Willon to make it 4-3 with 23 seconds left in the third quarter.
And so JV went into their final break down one goal to a determined La Costa Canyon playing on their home field.
Foothill JV Lacrosse attack #15 Daniel Castillo finds an opening in the Mavericks defense and scores to make it 4-3.
It is important to note that before the season started Varsity Coach Jon Fox made strength and conditioning a priority by bringing on trainer Eric Doyle as Strength and Conditioning Coach.
Foothill JV middies #13 Nick Kos and #18 Brenton Bader swarmed Mavericks attackers and helped Knights defensemen #9 Connor Cummins and #8 Brad Gustafson prevent easy shots.
Whether JV was afraid of the punitive workout that faced them on Monday should they lose, or they were clearly in great shape, the Knights were the faster, stronger and more determined team on the field for the final 10 minutes.
The JV Knights great conditioning clearly showed as the team closed the gap with La Costa in the 3rd quarter.
Just 18 seconds into the 4th quarter, middie #1 Dylan Primrose assisted a cutting #14 attack Travis Mann who scored from 10 yards straight out as he was hit hard. The scored was all even at 4-4.
Foothill JV Lacrosse middie #14 Travis Mann ties the score against La Costa Canyon at 4-4 with 9:42 to go in the 4th quarter.
Less than 30 seconds later #33 Eric Adamson scored his second goal of the game on left-handed shot from the right side that the La Costa goalie didn’t see as it screamed over his right shoulder.
Knights JV attack #33 Eric Adamson prepares to fire a shot that Mavericks goalie Kyle Svendsen never saw scream over his right shoulder. Foothill 5, La Costa 4.
An almost impossible goal from a bad angle that LaxBuzz still can’t believe he attempted, let alone make.
Knights 5, Mavericks 4 at 9:15 of the 4th quarter.
The momentum had clearly swung to Foothill and the team kept their foot on the gas pedal and didn’t let up.
In a classic “return of the favor”, #12 Andrew Dainko assisted Foothill middie #22 Josh Peterman on a side-arm cannon shot from 15 yards out on the left side to make it 6-4 Knights at 8:48 of the 4th quarter.
Foothill JV Lacrosse middie #22 Josh Peterman fires in the Knights 6th goal of the game....
After multiple defensive exchanges, including a great save by Foothill goalie Zack Schenker of a 12-yard blast by La Costa’s Hayden.
Foothill JV lacrosse goalie #21 Zack Schenker stopped La Costa's Sean Hayden shot in the 4th quarter.
Then Knights middie#1 Dylan “D Rose” Primrose, on a great pass from middie Brenton Bader, scored on a left-handed shot from 5 yards out to make it 7-4 Foothill at 6:05 of the final quarter.
La Costa Canyon attack #1 Sean Hayden had Foothill Knights defenseman #9 Connor Cummins in front of him all game...
JV kept the pressure on the Mavs at both ends with great goalie saves, timely hits, and shut-down defense that had clearly frustrated La Costa the entire game. Foothill goalie Zack Schenker made a great save on La Costa’s #4 Nick Compagiannis’ wide-open shot on the front left-side.
Middie #15 Daniel Castillo scores his second and the final goal of the game. Foothill 8, La Costa 4.
The final goal of the game was a right-handed side shot by #15 Daniel Castillo, his second, from the left side between two defenders.
Knights 8, Mavericks 4
Just 2 minute and 48 seconds left in an epic game against a noble rival.
The defensive unit continued its harrassment of La Costa’s Hayden and Toomey and when the horn sounded, jubilent Knights ran onto field to mob goalie Zack Schenker.
The Foothill Knights JV lacrosse team mobbed goalie Zack Schenker at the end of their 8-4 victory over La Costa Canyon on Saturday, March 28.
There will be no doubt that the 2009 edition of the Foothill JV boys lacrosse team will be remembered for the ferocity of the final 15 minutes and 29 seconds of their seventh game of the season. A ten minute video of highlights from the Foothill Knights/La Costa Canyon Mavericks game can viewed below (Thanks to Skip Schenker)
LaxBuzz contacted Foothill Knights Varsity Head Coach Jon Fox and had this to say about the game:
“The JV game was one of the best lower level games ever played in Socal. The growing Socal skills and talent on both sides was evident. Lacrosse is on the move in Ca!
After a lower scoring defensive 1st half, both offenses got moving. LCC owned the 3rd period but the Knights rallied and went on a big run to win the game. This will be a great preview for some great battles in the upcoming years for those players.”
There will be no CIF playoffs for this great group of boys. They do have another big game against the Coronado Islanders JV on April 25. But March 28 will be the date LaxBuzz remembers….
Here is more action from the game:
#22 Josh Peterman takes shot in 1st quarter....
Foothill Middie #18 Brenton Bader takes shot on La Costa Canyon in 2nd quarter...
Foothill Defenseman #8 Brad Gustafson stops La Costa Canyon attacker as #19 Chance Cooper closes in during 2nd quarter action....
Foothill Middie #0 Barron Maizland defends against Mavericks as Knights defense seals off during 4th quarter action...
Mavericks attack #2 Chase Toomey had few easy shots against the Knights defense...
Foothill Knights JV defenseman #2 Alex Keuilian in action against La Costa Canyon's Tom Riis on Saturday