The No. 2 seeded Loyola Lacrosse team won its fourth consecutive US Lacrosse Northern Division Championship in dominating fashion on Wednesday night (May 8), defeating top-seeded Palos Verdes in the final by a score of 12-6 at Westlake HS in Thousand Oaks.
The Seakings previously handed Loyola a lopsided 15-8 loss in Palos Verdes back in mid-April, but the Cubs (16-7) got off to a much better start in Wednesday’s rematch, scoring the first three goals of the game and taking a 5-4 cushion into the half. Palos Verdes would not go away easily, tying the game at 5-5 in the third period and then scoring at 4:51 to take their first lead of the game; however, that would be the final time the Seakings found the back of the net as goalie Cam Bieler ’19 and the Cub defense completely shut down the PV offense for the remaining 15 minutes of the game, holding the top seed scoreless the rest of the way.
A goal by sophomore Owen Gaffney ’21 evened the score at 6-6 and Kaiser Fry ’19 tallied the go-ahead goal at 7-6, proving to be the difference as the Cubs poured on five more unanswered goals in the fourth to put the game out of reach for the Seakings. Loyola outscored Palos Verdes 7-2 in the second half and by the final buzzer, the Cubs and head coach Seth Cohen had claimed their fourth-straight LA City crown.
With their Northern Division Championship, Loyola advances to the US Lacrosse California State Southern Section Championship game where they will represent Los Angeles County against the Orange County victors, St. Margaret’s Episcopal. It will be the second straight season that the two teams will have met in the Southern Section final, which will be played on Saturday (May 11) at Mira Costa HS in Manhattan Beach at 1 p.m. The game will be streamed by LaxRatz on YouTube.
In this year’s regular season, St. Margaret’s bested Loyola by a 12-4 score down in San Juan Capistrano in March. However, Loyola got the best of the Tartans in last year’s Southern Section title game where then-freshman Owen Gaffney ’21 netted the game-winner with 28 seconds left in overtime. It was the third straight victory for Loyola over an Orange County school for the Section championship (Corona del Mar in 2016, Foothill in 2017).