The sport of lacrosse has grown tremendously over the past few years in the Santa Clarita Valley. The Saugus boys and West Ranch girls’ teams defended their Foothill League titles en route to a three-peat.
The programs will be two of five local teams heading into the postseason this week.
Here’s everything you need to know for the upcoming week of postseason lacrosse:
Saugus boys host Great Oak
The Centurions haven’t lost a league game in over two years. During that short stretch, the team is also yet to lose a first-round matchup in the playoffs. Saugus will shoot for another postseason victory at home against the Great Oak Wolfpack.
The Pack will need to focus on stopping four of Saugus’ 20-goal scorers this season. The group is led by junior Parker Teel, who finished the year with 41 goals and 38 assists. Tommy Forrand, Wyatt Notch and Miguel Soria will also be threats to score for the Centurions.
Great Oak enters the playoffs as winner of three of its last four matches with 53 goals in that span. The Cents are winners of three straight games with 13 goals in each victory.
Saugus hosts the Wolfpack on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
West Ranch boys head to Crescenta Valley
The Wildcats have showcased the program’s continued strength in their 10-4 season.
West Ranch will fight to continue its season on the road in the postseason with a matchup with the Crescenta Valley Falcons (13-6).
The Falcons finished the 2022 season as CIF Division 3 runners-up and will now test their luck in Division 2.
Crescenta Valley has a plethora of scoring options and likes to move the ball around. The team has six players with over 20 goals this year, including Damien Valdez with 34 goals and Quincy Lunt with 30 goals and 40 assists.
West Ranch will still be able to set the tone with its scoring capabilities, with an offense led by Ryan Donell with 39 goals and 17 assists, and Max Pearson, who finished the year with 34 goals and 38 assists.
West Ranch heads to La Crescenta to take on the Falcons on Thursday at 3:15 p.m.
Valencia boys host Northwood
The Vikings finished off a historic season and earned an opening-round playoff game at home. Valencia had its best season since 2015 and posted more wins this season than the last four years combined.
Valencia will now enter the playoffs in a matchup with the Northwood Timberwolves (8-8).
Northwood plays strong defense and has only allowed double-digit goals in one game this season. Valencia averages just under 10 goals per game so it may be a tight opening-round matchup, especially with junior goalie Daniel Acosta in between the posts for Valencia. Acosta finished the year with 139 saves.
Vikings senior Ryan Knight has led the charge on offense with his 34-goal, eight-assist season. Nathan Lord finished the year with 27 goals while Max Stroh gave the team 25 goals and 24 assists.
The Vikes and Timberwolves enter the playoffs on Thursday at 3:15 p.m. at Valencia
West Ranch girls get first-round bye
The undefeated league champs earned a bye this season and will await the winner of Beckman and Newport Harbor in the Division 2 bracket.
The Wildcats were led by freshman Lauren Lamb, who poured in 63 goals and 14 assists this season.
West Ranch’s defense caught fire to close out the year. The team has won six in a row, winning each game by an average of nearly eight goals.
Either team will present challenges for West Ranch but the Wildcats believe they are playing their best lacrosse just in time for playoffs.
Beckman has a pair of 50-goal scorers in Karissa Ting and Ava Speights, while Carolina Close leads Newport with 59 goals.
West Ranch hosts the winner of Newport Harbor and Beckman on Friday at 3:15 p.m.
Valencia girls host Yorba Linda
Valencia will also open up the playoffs at home. The Vikings will play host to the Yorba Linda Mustangs.
The Vikes saw solid seasons on offense from Jaeda Rajpibul, Sarah Park and Olivia Fassino. The three will need to continue to find ways to score in order to get the program back in the playoff win column after last year’s first-round exit.
Valencia’s defense will need to zero in on a pair of 40-goal scorers in Yorba Linda’s Clare Johnson and Sora Choi.
The Vikings host the Mustangs on Wednesday at 3:15 p.m.