Third-quarter surge powers Valencia lacrosse over Castaic 


  After a slow first half, Valencia Vikings boys’ lacrosse sparked and pulled ahead in its home league battle with the Castaic Coyotes. 

The Vikings won the game, 11-8, after a six-goal third quarter saw the team swing a two-goal deficit into a lead. 

Valencia (6-7, 4-2) trailed at halftime but exploded with an all-around attack as seven Vikings all found the back of the net on Wednesday. Energy was the biggest difference between halves as Valencia looked like a whole new team in the third and fourth quarters. 

“We talked at halftime about how we have to make sure our energy is up more,” said Vikes coach Julian Lewis. “So much energy that (the Coyotes) don’t have any energy. We have to fill the field with our energy and make sure we’re playing like a team out there communicating, playing hard, fast and physical Viking lacrosse out there.” 

Valencia senior Alec Le baut led the charge with three goals and was one of five Vikings who scored in the third quarter. Le baut got his team on the board after he stole a long pass from the Castaic goal and brought it right back to tie the score, 1-1. 

The Vikings held off the Coyotes (5-10, 0-6) in the final quarter, limiting the visitors to just one goal in a period for the second time in the game. 

Castaic powered ahead in the second quarter and nearly shut out Valencia in the period. The Coyotes rode a 4-0 run behind a trio of goals from senior Ryan Lee and freshman Cooper Dasner. 

Lee was an impossible assignment for Valencia as he absorbed contact, ran around double teams and found openings en route to five goals on the day. Lee took a beating before scoring his first few goals but scored the team’s fifth goal of the day from well outside the defensive area. 

“You just gotta bring the double team and hope you can stop (Lee),” Lewis said. “That kid is something special. We can only do as much as we can and luckily tonight it worked in our favor but it doesn’t always work out like that.” 

The game featured a pair of Foothill League stars in goal. Coyotes goalie Noah Bobadilla didn’t get the win but had a strong outing with 13 saves. On the other side, Valencia senior Daniel Acosta locked down the goal and held Castaic’s offense to two goals or less in three quarters. 

“It’s been four years with (Acosta) as our starting keeper and he’s held every bit of it,” Lewis said. “Ever since he was a freshman, the kid is confident, he makes saves, he keeps us in games. He keeps all the boys hyped up and he’s invaluable to our team.” 

Castaic had flashes of securing its first league win and avenging its 15-5 loss to Valencia earlier this season but just fell short. 

“We know they were gonna come out hot, especially after the last game,” Lewis said. “So we knew we had to bring it tonight and I’m glad the boys brought it. We gave them everything we had.” 

Castaic returns to Foothill League action on Wednesday, April 17, at Hart. The Vikings will get an extra week off with their bye, giving the team more time to heal up and retool for the final stretch of league play.  

“It’s been a little bit of a rough patch, but we’re working through it right now,” Lewis said. “We’re getting some guys back that were injured. So that’s given the boys some life again. We’re just looking forward to finishing out the rest of the games and giving everything we’ve got. We’ll see what happens and what our fate is.” 

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