DOWNEY >> Colin Barker scored the winning goal in overtime Saturday to give Aliso Niguel’s boys lacrosse team a 9-8 win over Beckman in the CIF Southern Section Division 2 championship game at Downey High.
Aliso Niguel (20-2) was the Sea View League champion for the third consecutive season and this is the first CIF boys lacrosse championship in school history.
One minute before Barker scored, Beckman missed a shot and Aliso Niguel goalie CJ Besuzzi hustled to the endline to give the Wolverines possession.
Aliso Niguel executed a successful clear and Mikey Laderer found Barker on the doorstep for his third goal of the game.
“I mean that play won the game, honestly,” Aliso Niguel coach Zach Henderson said. “Our defense had to buckle down and luckily CJ was heads up enough to back it up. Colin found that one advantage spot and was able to bury it past a very good goalie.”
The Wolverines trailed 8-7 with one minute remaining in the fourth period. Beckman had the ball but was called for a hold, which gave the Wolverines possession. Cade Mahaffey split two defenders and scored with 25 seconds remaining to tie the game.
“Cade is a beast. A lot of people overlook him,” Henderson said. “A lot of the accolades and attention goes to Mikey and our faceoffs, but this was a big year for people to realize he’s as good as anybody.”
Beckman (20-2) beat Aliso Niguel earlier this season 16-9 in a nonleague matchup. Aliso Niguel was more selective in its shooting in this matchup and played better transition defense. The Wolverines forced two failure to advance fouls and a handful of turnovers in transition.
“First matchup we couldn’t have played much worse,” Henderson said. “I think we gave up nine transition goals and today we gave up two or three. We knew it was going to be 90 degrees and we didn’t want to take 45 shots and instead take 30 quality ones.”
Tyler Hilmar had three goals for the Patriots and Max Texter had four points. Whittier College signee Ryan Rosselli had 15 saves.
Laderer had five points for the Wolverines (2 goals, 3 assists) and Mahaffey scored twice. Nathan Vandermerwe won 13 of 21 faceoffs.
Henderson played for the first lacrosse team at Aliso Niguel in 2008, and he has been involved with the program ever since.
“I knew what these boys were capable of since day one. The unwavering fight that this group has, you can’t measure it,” Henderson said. “We coach them very hard, but I know the boys can feel the love we have for them. I’m just so proud of the program and we are just going to keep climbing from here.”