Boys’ Lacrosse Defeats Rival Menlo Knights
In a rematch of last season’s SVCAL Championship game, the Bears took on the Menlo Knights in a grueling, defensive battle. At the end of the night, M-A found themselves on top once again, winning the game 4-1.
The Bears took an early control of the game after senior Drew Uphoff won the opening face-off, giving M-A the ball. However, the Bears were unable to capitalize on the early possession, as Menlo’s unrelenting defense kept M-A off the scoreboard. Regardless, the Knights could not find any momentum either, ending the first quarter with the score locked at zero.
The second quarter began much like the first, with both teams’ defenses holding each other off. But that all changed four minutes into the quarter, when sophomore Cole Shaffer broke the tie with a driving goal.
The Bears came back with strong defense of their own to stop the eager Menlo attack. Goalie Chase Connell came up with multiple clutch saves to keep M-A in the lead. On the ensuing possession, the Bears increased their lead with a goal from senior Keifer O’hara just two minutes before halftime. However, the offense did not stop there, as Duncan McGinnins added to the assault with another goal with a minute left in the quarter. M-A carried the 3-0 lead into halftime.
Despite the Bears’ momentum, their scoring streak did not continue in the third quarter. Both defenses held strong through the quarter, not giving up any ground in either direction. Menlo had possession with just under a minute left, and held the ball for the final shot. Just 1.7 seconds before the end of the third, the Knights got on the board for the first time of the night with an impressive outside shot.
Now fired up from the goal, Menlo attempted to continue the offense into the final quarter of play. However, the M-A defense, led by Nicky Mullen and Chase Connell, held strong through the fourth quarter. With under a minute left, the game appeared to be out of reach for Menlo. The Bears held onto the lead, and with a final goal by Kotaro Kihira with 12 seconds left, the Bears claimed yet another tough victory from the Menlo Knights.
“Being the champions, we had a huge target on our backs [going into the game],” said defender Peyton Uphoff. “Beating our long time rivals Menlo, it gives us confidence to know we can win the championship again.”
Coming off of two big wins over Sacred Heart and Menlo, the Bears hope to continue their hot streak against Mountain View on Tuesday.