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Five-goal fourth, shutdown defense gives CdM boys’ lacrosse CIF Division 1 crown

Corona del Mar's Lucas Newton celebrates with the championship plaque after beating Foothill in the  boys' lacrosse final.
Corona del Mar’s Lucas Newton celebrates with the championship plaque after beating Foothill in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse final on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

The noise emanating from the bleachers to the south reached a deafening level. The Foothill faithful were in a full-throat frenzy as the Knights narrowed their deficit to one just 17 seconds into the fourth quarter.

In the moments that followed, Corona del Mar’s defense faced several tests. It would not yield.

The Sea Kings stifled the Knights the rest of the way, as Corona del Mar pulled away to a 10-4 win over Foothill in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse championship match at Downey High School on Friday night.

Corona del Mar's Logan Ip, center, celebrates while holding the championship plaque after beating Foothill.
Corona del Mar’s Logan Ip, center, celebrates while holding the championship plaque after beating Foothill in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse final on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

All manner of lacrosse equipment went flying into the air and came crashing down as the fourth-seeded Sea Kings rushed the field in a jubilant celebration at the sounding of the final horn.

“Part of it is limiting those opportunities that [the Knights] have in transition and trying to limit the opportunities that they have in that helter-skelter game,” CdM coach G.W. Mix said. “They play better than anyone when it’s helter-skelter, and we tried to limit that. We reminded our kids of that at the half, and I thought we did a great job in the second half of really taking those crazy moments away and playing with a little bit better poise, and it made a big difference.”

Defense led to offense for Corona del Mar (19-3) in the fourth quarter. After Gavin Griswold’s goal made it 5-4 to open the final period, Colin Hebble picked up a ground ball and scored with the long pole over the left shoulder of Foothill goalkeeper Andrew Tyson 64 seconds later to restore the Sea Kings’ two-goal advantage.

Corona del Mar's Gavin Gossen is mobbed by his teammates while holding up the championship plaque.
Corona del Mar’s Gavin Gossen is mobbed by his teammates while holding up the championship plaque after the Sea Kings beat Foothill in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse final on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“My teammates set me up to make those plays,” Hebble said. “To come down the field and be able to capitalize and keep running up the scoreboard on the [Knights] and watch the sideline celebrate, and the boys on the field, and hear from the crowd, it’s the best feeling in the world, and you can’t replace that.”

Lucas Newton then completed his hat-trick to make it 7-4. On the play, Hebble forced the turnover, the ground ball taken by Tyler Brown before the ball returned to Hebble, who made the final pass before the scoring strike by the Villanova commit.

“I can’t even explain the feeling that I have right now,” Newton said. “I’ve had this dream since I was a freshman, of winning a CIF championship. At the beginning of this year, I just knew that this is my last chance, and I had to give it my all, and all our teammates bought in, and we did it as a team.”

Corona del Mar's Logan Ip, left, and Nicolas Peloso celebrate after the Sea Kings beat Foothill in the CIF Division 1 final.
Corona del Mar’s Logan Ip, left, and Nicolas Peloso celebrate after the Sea Kings beat Foothill in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse final on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Nicolas Peloso had two goals and an assist for the Sea Kings. Both of his tallies came in a five-goal fourth quarter for CdM, which allowed the Sea Kings to enjoy the closing minutes with the game well in hand.

“It’s great,” said Sea Kings goalkeeper Grant Giuliano, who made three of his seven saves in the fourth quarter. “It’s just really awesome, and I’m just taking it all in. I think this could be the best moment of my life.”

A party broke out with one of the Sea Kings wearing a music amplifier as a backpack after the match. Giuliano recalled when he realized that his team was about to become champions.

Corona del Mar's Ty Caffarelli celebrates after scoring a goal against Foothill during the CIF Division 1 final.
Corona del Mar’s Ty Caffarelli celebrates after scoring a goal against Foothill during the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse final on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

“I would say there was probably about four minutes 30 seconds left,” Giuliano said. “Me and the defense – Tyler [Brown], Chase [Habermehl] and Alex [Chanawatr] just looked at each other. … We were getting hyped up, and we knew we had it. … As the clock ticked down, it was the slowest end to a game I’ve ever seen in my life. I’m so glad. It was great.”

Ryan Schafer, Peyton Tingley, Tucker Jackson and Ty Caffarelli scored one goal apiece for CdM, and Scott Westrick, Oliver Ayala and Logan Ip each recorded an assist.

Corona del Mar's Alex Chanawatr and Foothill's Casey Copeland battle for a loose ball during the CIF Division 1 final.
Corona del Mar’s Alex Chanawatr and Foothill’s Casey Copeland battle for a loose ball during the CIF Southern Section Division 1 boys’ lacrosse final on Friday.
(Scott Smeltzer / Staff Photographer)

Dean Pistone had two goals and an assist to lead Foothill (19-5), which defeated visiting CdM 7-6 in a nonleague match on April 9. Griswold also finished with two goals, and Jackson Hines had an assist.

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