Boys’ varsity lacrosse loses North Coast Section Championship title in a closely contested game

Running downfield, junior Blake Dresser attempts to block his opponent.

The boys’ varsity lacrosse team competed in the North Coast Section (NCS) Championship game and suffered a tough loss on Thursday, May 11, against Northern California’s No. 1 ranked team, De La Salle High School, resulting in a final score of 13-10. Despite the setback, Redwood demonstrated remarkable determination in both halves, keeping the score close. However, as the clock ran down, the Giants were unable to push ahead. 

In the first half, De La Salle used their offensive skills to score the first goal. In return, senior Parker Pewitt ran down the field and successfully shot a goal for the Giants, tying the score at 1-1. Further into the period, senior Anton Rendic quickly retrieved the ball and scored, bringing the score to 4-4. However, De La Salle swiftly brought the ball back to their side to score another goal, ending the first period with a score of 5-4 and a chance for the Giants to dominate the next period. 

During the second period, senior Maxwell Malone lined up at center field to perform a successful faceoff. After seizing possession of the ball, Malone sprinted down the field and scored Redwood another goal. However, the Giants weren’t finished yet. Nearly a minute later, senior Collin Harper stepped in to score another goal, putting the Giants in the lead with a score of 5-6. Senior and team captain Colin McGrath applauded Harper’s ability to keep his head in the game. 

“Harper had a phenomenal game. He had half our goals and was beating[the other guys] every time he wanted. It would have been nice if the defense gave him more opportunities to do that. But, all in all, he played a phenomenal game,” McGrath said. 

Junior Ian Rothbart locks down on his defense as he awaits for his teammates to pass.

As the game progressed into the second half, the Giants were using their defensive techniques to block De La Salle’s attempts on goal. De La Salle had a total of eight failed goal attempts, due to the goalkeeper’s quick defensive reflexes. The Giants displayed an all-out effort in the concluding minutes of the game. Harper scored Redwood’s final goal of the period, leaving the score at 13-10 for the remainder of the game, and awarding De La Salle the NCS championship. Despite the team’s bittersweet ending to their season, head coach Blake Atkins commended his team for their hard work and their intense enthusiasm. 

“I think this is the best season Redwood has ever had, to be honest. I know we fell short of our championship goal, but we set a new bar for the program with how well we played. The level of lacrosse was exceptional and we put together one of the best teams on the West Coast, so I was super proud of the kids this year,” Atkins said. 

McGrath further acknowledged where the boys needed to improve post-game.

 “If we had patiently been able to clear the ball back to our offense and possess for longer, that would have made one of the biggest differences,” McGrath said. 

McGrath also hopes this loss will serve as a learning opportunity for his teammates who are returning next year. 

“It was definitely a very emotional loss. Only one team ends the season happy, but I know the juniors below us will take it very seriously and they’ll look to move forward with this chip on their shoulders for next season. And for us seniors; it’s a tough way to go but we all played our hearts out, so it’s something to be proud of,” McGrath said.