With strong underclassmen performances by the Padres, Carmel lacrosse (1-2) got revenge against the Falcons of Scotts Valley (0-1) with an 11-7 victory Wednesday.
Last season, an 11-7 loss to Scotts Valley was one of the few blemishes on the Padres’ near-perfect season.
However, once the whistle blew Wednesday, Carmel dominated.
Sophomore Bo Brothers scored a hat trick in addition to adding one assist, while junior Cole Kennedy was also able to tally three goals for the Padres.
Other standouts in the game included junior Colin Empey with a goal, two assists and seven groundballs. Sophomore Keene Burns and freshman Morgan Koucky were also valuable assets to the Padres, each racking up a goal and an assist.
In addition to an outstanding offensive performance, the defense remained solid for the Padres, backed by sophomore goalie John Wood, who had a total of eight saves.
Although coach Nick O’Connor was pleased with the performance, he continues to look one step ahead to future games.
“I feel like our win against Scotts Valley will help us carry momentum into our future games,” O’Connor said. “However, we still didn’t play anywhere close to our potential, but I think we can build on today’s win.”
Despite the recent win, Carmel lacrosse has been presented with many roadblocks during the early stages of their season.
After the departure of coach Phil Keebler to the head coaching job at University of Oregon, the Padres have had to quickly adapt to the new coaching style of O’Connor.
In addition to the new coach, Carmel has been promoted into a new league due to the team’s stellar record last year, bringing much tougher competition.
One week ago, Carmel opened its season with a non-league match against Amador Valley (1-1-1). In a game rife with turnovers, the Padres only managed to put in four goals against the East-Bay powerhouse, losing the game 13-4.
The following day, the Padres hosted the Vikings of Palo Alto (3-0) on the CHS football field. In front of a large crowd, both teams clearly demonstrated their desire to win. However, in the end, the Vikings were able to squeak out a 10-8 victory in a game with multiple lead changes.
When asked about needed improvements, O’Connor said that the fundamentals of passing and catching are something that requires constant attention.
After two disappointing games to start the season, many would suspect low morale from the Padres; nevertheless, the players remained optimistic.
“We are playing some pretty tough teams this preseason,” junior Colin Empey said Wednesday. “It is giving us some great learning experience.”
Even with the Padres being 1-2, the team remains confident that they will continue to improve and compete for an MTAL title.
Furthermore, the anticipated return of junior Brian Jasper, along with the possible recovery of senior River Hain, adds nothing but promise to Carmel lacrosse’s future.
For the time being, the team has found consistency in underclassmen stars Burns, Brothers and Koucky.
“We have some great underclassmen stepping up their game,” senior captain Misha Polovneff noted. “Their talent, combined with the leadership of the juniors and seniors, will allow us to pursue our goals of beating RLS and P.G., along with winning the MTAL title.”
Carmel hopes to improve its record to an even 2-2 when the team takes on Mitty (1-3) on Saturday at 2 p.m. on the CHS football field.