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Kings stifle Patriots 18-5, advance to semi-final

Jack Harris (13), Hoyt Crance (1) and CDM defense held Beckman to just 3 goals in 3 quarters.
 In impressive fashion, CDM advanced to the Orange County semi-finals for the fourth straight year with an 18-5 victory over #9 seed Beckman (14-5). The host Kings jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the end of the first period and increased the margin to 8-0 before the Patriots could muster their first score.

Senior midfielder Chris Von Der Ahe paved the way for the Sea Kings, scoring the game's first goal at the 10:41 mark of the first quarter. In the next two minutes, Sherwin Gersten (So./Midfield) would convert a pass from classmate Max Kline (So./Midfield), and sophomore attackman Ben Palitz (2g,1a) found sophomore long-stick midfielder Brett Greenlee (1g,0a) in transition and the Kings had quickly opened up a 3-0 lead.

Four minutes later, junior midfielder Jay Damon (2g,0a) and senior attackman Casey Mix (5g,1a) would each score unassisted goals and the hosts led Beckman 5-0 at the end of the first period.

"We felt it was important for us to set the tone early," said CDM head coach G.W. Mix. "We talked about it yesterday in practice and again today pre-game. We wanted to come out and show them the pace and intensity they would have to play with to stick with us. I thought our kids did a great job of setting the bar very high."

The second quarter was much like the first - all CDM.

Kline (1g,4a) fed Mix for his second goal, Palitz scored an unassisted goal, and Mix found Gersten (3g,0a) ninety seconds later. The top-ranked Sea Kings had opened up an 8-0 lead mid-way through the second stanza.

Beckman would score its first goal at the 6:32 mark, but within two minutes, Kline found sophomore midfielder Logan Miller (2g,0a) and the margin was quickly back to eight goals.

"Our face-off group did a great job today. Nino (Chavez/So./Midfield) and Kaden (Ebbinga/Jr./Midfield) dominated at the X and we got great wing play from Brett (Greenlee), Chase (McElroy/Sr./Midfield) and Chad (Redfearn/So./Midfield)."

It was this same Sea King face-off group that enabled CDM to build a massive wave of momentum, seemingly playing "make it, take it" with every offensive possession.

The visitors scored a second goal with 3:45 remaining in the half, but Gersten, senior midfielder Brett Nelson (1g,1a), and Mix scored three unanswered goals and the Kings took a 12-2 lead into the locker room.

Beckman opened the second half with a goal a minute into the third quarter, but that would be all from them for fourteen minutes.

Two minutes after Beckman's goal, Nelson found Kline, Mix and Miller scored unassisted goals, and Kline assisted Mix on his fifth goal of the afternoon. The Sea King lead had grown to 15-3 and the starters were able to get some crucial rest with the semi-finals just 48 hours away.

"We expected a response from them in the third quarter and we talked at half-time about how important it would be to have a response of our own. Answering their goal with four of our own was a pretty good response."

Sophomore goalie Hugh Crance made ten saves and allowed just 3 goals (.769 SV %). Sophomore Nick Guizan replaced Crance at the start of the Fourth quarter, recording 4 saves and allowing two Patriot goals (.666 SV %).

Palitz and Damon scored the Kings' last two goals of the game.

With the win, CDM (17-2) advances to the Orange County semi-finals, where they will face #4 seed JSerra (15-4) on Saturday evening at 5:15 PM at Alison Niguel High School. In the second game, #2 Foothill (17-4) plays #3 St. Margaret's (18-4) at 7:30 PM.