By James Boyle
TopLaxRecruits.com, Posted 4/14/13
HAVERFORD, Pa. – Senior goalie Bryan Cooper says his La Costa Canyon (CA) lacrosse team has exceeded expectations so far this year – especially on the defensive end.
Saturday at the Nike “Checking for Cancer” Lacrosse Invitational at The Haverford School, Cooper and his Mavericks used a stifling defense to throttle Philly Inter-Ac League power Penn Charter, 9-4.
La Costa Canyon improved to 7-2 and finished 2-1 overall in its East Coast swing, which included a 5-3 victory over St. Augustine Prep (N.J.) and a 9-4 loss to Salesianum School (DE).
Cameron Ziegler collected four goals and two assists and Bryan Cooper made 13 saves in the contest which was one of four boys’ games and nine overall in an event that raises awareness for three men’s cancers; Colorectal, Prostate and Testicular.
“(We had) good communication on the field,” said Cooper. “And everyone’s kind of on the same page.
“Coming into the season, defense was supposed to be our weakness. But we’ve really come together and we’ve been a stronghold all year so far.”
La Costa, the CIF San Diego defending champion, took control of the game immediately with a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.
Kevin Murphy (two goals) got Penn Charter (8-6) on the board in the second quarter off an assist from James Vandegrift, but the Quakers never got closer.
“It was a good performance. A couple ones I wish I could have back,” said Cooper. “But all in all it was a great performance and the Defense really helped me out. This is the end of our trip [to the east coast] so it’s a great note to go off on.”
La Costa assistant coach Matt Murphy, a graduate of Haverford High School who played college lacrosse at Hobart in upstate New York before heading to San Diego for a kinder climate, said there’s a lot to like about west coast lacrosse.
“Growing up you always heard west coast lacrosse was a softer version of lacrosse and was never as intense as east coast [lacrosse],” said Murphy. “Since I’ve been out there, it’s been kind of an East Coast coaching staff and they’re trying to bring that East Coast mentality to the game out there.
“They’re definitely trying to play a much more gritty game than what would stereotypically be the California style of the game.
“You always know you’re going to get a great game out of teams from Philadelphia, and you know you’re going to get some hard-nosed (players) that are going to fight for every ball. So it’s good to get guys to react to that and play to that standard.”
Aaron Loy added two goals for La Costa Canyon.
For Penn Charter, the defeat came less than 24 hours after a heartbreaking 8-7 double-overtime loss to Malvern Prep. The Quakers have lost three straight games since an eight-game win streak.
La Costa Canyon (CA) 9, Penn Charter 4
La Costa Canyon
Cameron Ziegler 2g, 2a
Aaron Loy 2g
Jared Maffucci 1g
Ben Keen 1g
Brent Melbye 1g
Cole Tudor 1g
Nick Vreeburg 1g
Bryan Cooper 13 saves
Kevin Murphy 2g
Drew Murray 1g
Pierce Kraft 1g
James Vandegrift 1a
Ray Vandegrift 1a
Sean McKee 6 saves