Rams Rally Against Royals: A Triumph of Grit and New Talent

March 22, 2024

Cate’s lacrosse team overcomes challenges and showcases emerging players in a hard-fought victory against their rivals from San Marcos.

Celebrating a scored goal. Photo captured by Coach Peterson

Another goal-scored celebration. Photo captured by Coach Peterson

Cate traveled to Goleta this evening to play the next chapter in the long rivalry with Royals from San  Marcos (SM). We were eager to shake off the cobwebs from spring break, but knew we’d need to fight uphill to find our form. After a pair of defensive stops, our attack trio executed a great play to put us up 1-0, Tres Davidson ’26 initiated with a nice dodge from the far wing before feeding down to Quincy Thorne ’26 at X who followed with a great redodge to draw a double, all of which set up Johnny Foster ’25 for the easy finish from the near wing. Pretty stuff. Unfortunately, we couldn’t find our rhythm through the rest of the period, sending our few good shots wide and dropping a slew of passes. Luckily, our defense was able to hold strong thanks to excellent play between the pipes from Burak Yanar ’24 and great hustle on the clears from our midfield. We ended the first quarter up 1-0. The Royals tied things up early in the 2nd off a strong dodge that caught our defense flat footed. We rebounded quickly, though, netting 3 goals in just under a minute. First, Johnny scored off a broken clear, followed by a thunderous dodge and stepdown rocket from Elliott Murray Osborn ’24. Newcomer Julian Lee ’24 punctuated the run with a nifty golf-style goal off a great assist from Tres. After a few more minutes of ugly batting back and forth, Crosby Rosenthal ’24 put us up 5-1 by winning a contentious ground ball in front of the net and smartly tucking it away before the defense could reset. SM responded on the next possession with a good dodge from x that resulted in a goal when we weren’t ready on the slide. At 5-2, the game felt like it could tip in either direction at any point. Luckily, the Rams had enough energy in the tank to accelerate through the close of the half. We scored one with 22 seconds left after a great sequence: Burak made a big save and found a streaking Oliver Charvel for the clear, Luke Ashiku and Brady Mogensen smartly pushed the ball through the offensive rotation against big pressure, and then Tres executed a great draw and dump to Elliott who tucked one away. We then added an extra on what might have been the play of the year: Kristian Scurtis won the faceoff and pushed the ball quickly into the offense, saw a weakness and drove to draw the defense, and then made a perfect pass across to Crosby in space for the dunk, all within 16 seconds. The store of the first half was that our newer guys really stepped up despite two major injuries to our offensive starters. We certainly went into halftime tired, but that extra kick in the final seconds was huge for our confidence.

The second half wasn’t particularly pretty in terms of x’s and o’s. We dropped a lot of passes, had trouble establishing an offensive rhythm, and battled the inevitable calf cramps that came with the first big contest after a long break. SM scored once to start the 3rd quarter, and Elliott answered shortly after on another strong dodge to bring the score to 8-3 with 22 minutes to play. The score would stay that way through the rest of the game. Our defense stepped up to make some nice stops and Burak had a few circus saves to keep the clean sheet through the finish and our offense earned the chance to kill the clock with about 4 minutes to play. Nothing fancy, but it got the job done. Grant Mitchell ’25 and Colby Roof ’25 both made significant strides forward in the clearing game down the stretch to help us maintain control of the ball, while Riley Valente ’25 and Marco Gomez ’25 made their presence known all night with strong contributions in the ground ball game.

From the coaches “This game really tested our ability to respond under pressure, and while we come away knowing some of the things we need to work on in practice, we’re really proud of the way the team kept on hustling through tense moments. Early injuries meant we had to lean more on our bench players to carry the offense and they really stepped up. A big credit to SM’s pressure defense – they made us work hard for every possession and caused a lot of trouble for our offensive motion. Our defense, anchored by veterans Burak Yanar and Kristian Scurtis ’24, really stepped up in the 2nd half to deny the comeback. We look forward to seeing these guys again in a few weeks.”

Tres Davidson: 2a
Johnny Foster: 2g
Julian Lee: 1g
Elliott Murray Osborn: 3g
Crosby Rosenthal: 2g
Kristian Scurtis: 1a
Quincy Thorne: 1a