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CDM falls prey to Wolves, rebounds against Dons

 After defeating Thousand Oaks on Saturday and visiting the campus of UCSB on Sunday, CDM continued its spring break trip with a game at San Ramon Valley (9-4). The battle between two of the top ranked teams in the state lived up to its billing. The host Wolves scored with 20 seconds remaining in the game to earn a 10-9 win and hand Corona del Mar (12-1) its first loss in 37 games.

"I thought San Ramon did a terrific job tonight," CDM head coach said of the Wolves. "They earned a big win. It was a tough loss for us, but I think it will benefit us tremendously down the stretch."

Senior midfielder Brett Nelson had a big night, scoring three goals and leading all Sea Kings. Senior attackman Casey Mix added a pair of goals. Sherwin Gersten (So./Middfield), Brett Greenlee (So./Defense), Chase McElroy (Sr./Midfield) and Chris Von Der Ahe (Sr./Midfield) each scored once for the visitors. 

"This is the first time in forever that I can remember us having all of our goals come unassisted. It was just a strange night. We made a bunch of great plays on offense and in transition, the looks were there, but the guy on the receiving end just didn't get it done. We were just slightly off on ome of those shots, but in big games like this making those plays is usually the difference."

CDM was 9 of 40 shooting. (.225) for the game. That certainly made a difference. 

CDM's face-off group seemd to dominate most of the draws the officials allowed to take place. The Kings were called for 8 procedure violations on the face-offs, including the critical draw with 2:43 remaining which gave the Wolves the possession that would eventually lead to the game-winning goal.

"It was unfortunate. Nino won 10 of 18 draws and all 8 of his losses were on procedure calls. When that happens, there is something clearly wrong with the process, not his procedure. The process was poorly managed all night. The best officials do all they can to allow the athletes to determine the result of their competition. There were several calls, including a few reversals at critical times, that took the game out of the hands of the kids. I am still scratching my head at the calls in the closing minutes of that game."

The Kings had a two-minute, non-releaseable extra-man opportunity with 6:02 remaining and a one goal lead but failed to capitalize. Twice during the possession, CDM turned the ball over, on what seemed to be, erroneous calls by the officials.

Hoyt Crance (So./Goalie) made 12 saves (.545 SV%) for the Kings.

"It was just one of those days where we played fairly well, got the looks we wanted and needed to get, but just did't finish. Their goalie did a nice job, but it was a bad time for our three senior attackmen to go 2 for 19 shooting. I think every one of us wishes we had one or two Mulligans. I left two timeouts in the book and either one of them might have won the game for us. We will get better from this experience."

And get better they did...

On the following evening, behind seven unanswered goals in the third quarter, the Kings (14-1) disposed of the Amador Valley Dons 14-5 to improve to 2-1 on the trip and 14-1 overall.

Senior attackman Jack Ortlieb scored four times and added an assist, while Casey Mix (Sr./Attack) added a goal and five assists. Todd Kitzens (Sr./Attack) notched the go ahead goal mid-way through the second quarter, and just like that, all was back to normal with the vaunted Sea King attack trio.

CDM seemed to show signs of fatigue early in the game. Their shooting woes carried over from the previous night (1 of 10 in the first quarter) and they found themselves tied 1-1 at the end of the opening period, behind Ortlieb's goal off an assist from Max Kline (So./Midfield).

Things heated up in the second quarter. Kitzens scored at the 7:50 mark and Brett Nelson (Sr./Midfield) converted a pass from Mix less than a minute later to give CDM a 3-1 lead. Sherwin Gersten (So./Midfield) and Nelson added two more and the lead increased to 5-1.

A rally by the Dons yielded three straight and the teams went into the break in the midst of a tight 5-4 battle.

"We were not too worried at half-time," Mix added. "We were a bit tired and it showed, but I thought we had dominated every category other than the scoreboard. We challenged the kids to pick up the pace and take over the third quarter in championship fashion. I'd say they responded well."

It would be 14-4 before the Dons would score again. The next nine Sea King goals would all be assisted and the team began to look like its old self.

Ortlieb (4g,1a) added his second goal off a feed from Nelson (2g,2a), Mix (1g,5a) found Sherwin Gersten (3g,1a), Gersten fed Max Kline (2g,2a), and Ortlieb converted another Nelson pass. In a little more than 7 minutes, the score was 9-4. Mix found Ben Palitz (So./Midfield) to get the Kings in double digits. Gersten and Mix added extra-man goals to close out the period with a 12-4 lead.

In the opening minutes of the fourth, Mix found Kline and Kline returned the favor two minutes later. The Kings led 14-4.

Hoyt Crance (So./Goalie) had eight saves (.615 SV%).

"All in all, this was another great trip for us. We learned a great deal about ourselves as a team and had a lot of fun along the way. We cherish our spring break trip and are very grateful to our CDM Lacrosse Boosters for giving us the opportunity to spend this time together."

Up next for the Sea Kings is a critical Orange County match-up with St. Margaret's (12-4) in San Juan Capistrano on Saturday afternoon at 1:00 PM.