By STEVE GALLUZZO | Sports Editor
Early in the second half of last Friday evening’s Los Angeles Invitational Tournament final in Manhattan Beach, the Palisades High boys lacrosse team clung to a one-goal lead over Brentwood.
Then the Dolphins’ offense erupted, netting eight unanswered goals and surviving a late Eagles rally to win 15-11, avenging a 14-10 loss to end the regular season.
“That loss had a lot to do with our spring break… we were rusty,” said Emerson-bound middie Jack O’Rourke, who led the onslaught with seven goals and three assists. “We relied more on defense last time but knowing we didn’t have [starting goalie] Luc Schafino for this game we flipped the gameplan. We’re done losing in the first round like we did the last three seasons in the top division so I’m glad I got to experience this my senior year. It’s bigger than winning City because the competition is way harder.”
Jackson Demet added three goals, Cole Farrell and Alessandro Caso each added two andJames Burks scored once for the second-seeded Dolphins, who were ahead 15-7 mideway through the fourth quarter.
O’Rourke bonded with Coach Kevin Donovan, who took over the program four years ago and is proud of his first graduating class.
“This is a special group for me because these seniors came in the same year I did and have helped me become a better coach,” Donovan said. “They say defense wins championships but I preached the opposite today. I said we’ll win it with our offense. Milo [Sherman] winning 75 percent of his faceoffs is huge because it gives us more possessions. Not many teams end the season with a win, so I’m happy for these players… it’s 100 percent for them.”