“I thought we had a lot of shot opportunities,” first-year Prep Coach Keean Ferguson said. “We got what we wanted, we just hit the goalie in the chest way too many times.
“The entire year I preach cross-cage, high corner and we didn’t shoot there. Our inability to finish killed us today.”
La Salle goalkeeper Dillon McMonigle finished with 14 saves on the day and the Lancers’ defense aided the cause with eight steals.
Prep found itself down 1-0 inside the first 30 seconds of play when La Salle’s Rob Renn converted on a rebound of a teammate’s miss on the opening possession.
At the 5:42 mark of the first quarter, a shot by La Salle’s Mike Murray was deflected backward by a Prep defender into the Rebels’ own goal.
Garrett Wax got the Rebels on the board less than 2:00 later on a 12-foot straightaway skip shot, but it would be the last Prep tally of the half.
La Salle added two more goals by Renn and another by Murray in the second period.
“They’ve put in the work to get better and they’ve improved a lot from where they were at last season,” Ferguson said of the Lancers. “I’ve got to give them credit for working hard.”
Prep (10-11, 0-5 in league) came out re-energized to start the third quarter, cutting La Salle’s lead to 5-2 on a goal by Stephen Leech, assisted by James Van Der Venter, just 15 seconds into the second half.
But La Salle went on to outscore Prep, 2-1, in the quarter behind goals from Brian McSweeney and Ricky Deheen, while McMonigle recorded seven saves.
La Salle took its largest lead of the match, 8-2, on a McSweeney goal with 3:36 left in the match. Leech answered with his second goal of the day moments later.
“It’s been tough [in league] this year, every game has been something similar to this,” Ferguson said. “Just not executing — it’s been killing us all year and it continues today.”
It doesn’t get any easier for the Rebels, as their tough schedule rolls on with matchups against a couple of league powers.
Prep hosts Chadwick in a league match at 3:30 p.m. today before meeting Pasadena Poly on Saturday.
GABRIEL RIZK covers sports. He can be reached at (818) 637-3226 or at email@example.com.