Boys Lacrosse: University can’t repeat prior success against MA in NCS quarters

By Dante Quazzo

After a dominating win in the opening round of the North Coast Section Division II playoffs, University High School looked to advance to the semifinals with a victory over a familiar foe — Bay Counties League West rival Marin Academy.

University came out strong against the Wildcats, but squandered an early 7-2 lead, as Marin Academy stormed back to win 15-13 on Saturday at Kezar Stadium.

Marin Academy (14-3) was able to avenge two close losses to the Red Devils (13-9) in the regular season and the BCL West championship game with the victory.

“We said to the boys, ‘Third time’s the charm,’” saidMarin Academy head coach Josh Frechette. “To win this game is a huge thing for us, especially coming off two tight losses.”

University burst out of the gate and looked to have the game well in hand and took a 5-1 lead into the second quarter behind two goals by Bear Mistele. The Red Devils then pushed the lead to 7-2 with seven minutes to go in the half.

“We were up 7-2 and we had a chance to put the dagger in them and we didn’t,” said University head coach Braden Edwards. “I think that Marin Academy did a great job of building up some momentum and they got rolling.”

The University defense had held strong until halfway through the second quarter, where Marin Academy’s offensive discipline broke through the Red Devils defensive unit. At that point, Marin Academy countered back with five goals in the final six minutes to tie the game going into the half, shifting momentum towards the Wildcats.

Marin Academy sophomore Duncan Cummings fueled the Wildcats’ offense in the first half, scoring a hat trick and adding an assist.

“We just didn’t get to a situation where we were playing very smart. We were hurting ourselves,” Frechette added. “We weren’t communicating on defense [and] on offense we weren’t being patient. We said, ‘Listen. Get back to basics. Keep it simple, get back to the things you do well and things will take care of themselves.’”

The teams traded goals in the third quarter and Marin Academy held onto a slim 11-10 lead. While Cummings led the Wildcat’s in the first half, junior Everett Barger and senior Brett Suddendorf took the torch in the second half to lead the team to victory.

“This was basically our grudge match. We always talk about playing with heart, and that’s basically how we did it,” Suddendorf said. “I didn’t want it to be my last game, losing to University.”

Suddendorf and University’s Mani Ghiasi went goal for goal in the fourth, but when Ghiasi scored to tie the game at 12-12 late in the quarter, Suddendorf scored the go-ahead goal a minute later. Ghiasi scored four goals in the game for the Red Devils, while Suddendorf finished with four goals and an assist.

While the fifth-seeded Wildcats advance to face top-seeded Acalanes on Wednesday, the Red Devils concluded their season on a bitter note.

“They had a great season. They’ve got a lot to be proud of,” Edwards said of his team. “It’s tough to beat a team three times, and they should be proud of their season.”

Scoring Summary

First Quarter
U: 10:45 – Cutter Jones, assist Henry Steyer
MA: 8:25 – Duncan Cummings
U: 6:43 – Bear Mistele
U: 5:39 – Will Dawley, assist Trey Linke
U: 4:26 – Mistele
U: 2:04 – Linke

Second Quarter
U: 11:09 – Steyer
MA: 9:39 – Cummings, assist Dexter Eichhorst
U: 7:10 – Mani Ghiasi
MA: 6:00 – Eichhorst
MA: 5:26 – Brett Suddendorf, assist Cummings
MA: 2:11 – Zach Zeff
MA: 1:57 – Cummings
MA: 1:21 – Suddendorf

Third Quarter
U: 10:56 – Jones
MA: 10:02 – Everett Barger, assist Eichhorst
MA: 8:50 – Barger, assist Cummings
U: 7:41 – Linke, assist Steyer
MA: 4:36 – Barger, assist Suddendorf
U: 2:00 – Ghiasi
MA: 1:24 – Nic Titus, assist Zeff

Fourth Quarter
MA: 9:58 – Titus
U: 6:04 – Ghiasi
U: 4:57 – Ghiasi
MA: 3:55 – Suddendorf
MA: 1:20 – Eliot Plant
MA: 0:53 – Suddendorf
U: 0:06 – Steyer

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(Photo Illustration by Josh Jalil)

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One Comment

  1. Laxfanmarin says:

    Three great games played by these two schools. These boys honored the sport and their schools by playing the game the right way. Very exciting games played at a high level. Anyone who saw any of these games was treated to great high school lacrosse.

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