Hart lacrosse breakout season ends in QFs 

Oaks Christian High School junior Pearson Glynn (#10) tries to score on the Hart High School players but fails by the numerous players blocking the goalie on Monday during the playoffs at Hart High School. 050624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

Hart boys’ lacrosse dominated the competition and expectations throughout its breakout 2024 season. 

The Foothill League champion Indians reached the CIF Southern Section Division 3 quarterfinals, where they pushed the top-seeded Oaks Christian Lions into overtime. 

Hart senior Blake Osoria sent the team and crowd into a frenzy with a last-second equalizer that sent the game into overtime at Hart High School. 

With just over 10 seconds to go, Indians goalie Beau Vought threw a prayer down the field, launching the ball right into the Lions’ crease. Osoria ended up with the ball before losing it in front of the net, but he never gave up on the play. A huge fight for the loose ball ensued before the ball rolled out of the circle of players and into the Oaks Christian goal with just 0.8 seconds left. 

Hart High School players and Oaks Christian High School players fight for the ball during the playoffs on Monday at Hart High School. 050624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

“It’s not a play that you set up, that’s just pure hustle, pure effort and just pure determination,” Hart coach Daniel Kim said. “With 10 seconds left you still go down and you hope for something to happen and something did. It was just an electric play. I’ve never heard our field as loud as it was then, ever. It was electric on the field and it was a great moment.” 

Hart carried the momentum into overtime and, despite an early attack, the team fell short. The Lions made a key save in overtime before netting the golden goal, winning the game 8-7 and ending the best season in Hart boys’ lacrosse history. 

“I couldn’t be prouder of my boys,” Kim said. “They played tough the entire way through. We didn’t give up and I think that’s a big thing that we coaches preach. Just play hard, don’t worry about the score, and I think that showed.”  

Max Smith, Ben Gomez and Osoria all finished the day with a pair of goals while senior Tate Fuller added one goal and three assists. 

Hart (15-4) was the last Foothill League team standing and the only program without a junior varsity team. The team featured numerous players and starters who picked up the sport in winter. Yet with the odds stacked against the program with not a ton of history, the 2024 team went to work and elevated Indians boys’ lacrosse to new heights. 

Oaks Christian High School senior Jensen Bell scores tying the game during the playoffs on Monday at Hart High School. 050624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

“I think a lot of successful teams have JV teams so that kids can develop and come into varsity ready to play and that’s just our biggest hurdle,” Kim said. “It’s low numbers every year … We’ve never had a crazy amount of kids on the team. So I think the kids on the team know, they’re expected to work hard and play double the amount and practice that amount. For me personally, I take pride in that because it shows me the guys that are out here and practicing because they love the game.” 

Hart entered the season coming off a 7-10 campaign in Kim’s first year at the helm of the program. The coach knew a league title was possible once he saw his team coming together in the early stages but didn’t think a deep CIF run was possible until their overtime battle with Saugus. 

“I think the first Saugus game, we lost in OT but to me, that game gave me a lot,” Kim said. “I think even the boys themselves were surprised seeing that they could play with a four-time league champ.” 

The loss put Hart at 1-2 early in the season. However, the team ignited from there out, winning 10 straight games to put their name back into the Foothill League race. 

Hart won the next six straight league games, including a 15-9 win over Saugus to even the series and an 8-7 win at West Ranch to seal the program’s first-ever league championship. 
The Indians continued to turn heads in the playoffs, playing and winning the program’s first-ever home playoff game at home against Corona. Hart then took victory on the road at Oak Park to push the season into the CIF quarterfinals, with a matchup with No. 1 Oaks Christian (13-6). 

The Indians weren’t fazed by the Lions and entered the battle knowing they could prevail.  

“We knew that this was the best team we played all year,” Kim said. “I think we still went into it with a high level of confidence, knowing that we are a good team as well, and I think we showed that. We took the one seed to overtime. The entire game was a dogfight.” 

Hart was led on offense by the senior Fuller, who hammered in 77 goals and 27 assists in the regular season. Gomez also added 45 goals while seniors Tim Larkins and Osoria added 21 apiece.  

Kim will lose numerous talented seniors for next season but will return a strong bulk of the program, which he feels has momentum. 

Smith, a freshman, added 29 goals and 24 assists in the regular season and is set to return next season along with the standout goalie Vought. 

“We’re losing a lot but with that said, I think we’re returning a good amount as well,” Kim said. “We’re returning a great goalie, some good really good defenders and I think we’re gonna have some guys who need to step up and play some different roles. I’m excited to see that process and that journey for those players. I hope that people that were at the games were encouraged and inspired and just saw what an awesome game lacrosse is. That’s really my goal every year, to make lacrosse just really fun for the boys and the team. I hope that any potential kids interested really just give it a shot.” 

Oaks Christian High School senior Jensen Bell scores tying the game during the playoffs on Monday at Hart High School. 050624 Katherine Quezada/The Signal

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