Hart lacrosse wins first home playoff game 

Hart's Tate Fuller (22) runs with the ball against West Ranch's Brenden Reyes (5) during Wednesday's game at West Ranch High School on April 24. Habeba Mostafa/ The Signal

The Hart Indians immediately asserted themselves into postseason play on Wednesday, winning the program’s first-ever home playoff game. 

Hart took down the visiting Corona Panthers 15-6, behind five-goal days from Blake Osoria and Tate Fuller in the historic win. 

Indians coach Daniel Kim, a Hart alumnus, becomes the first head coach to reach the feat. 

“When I was a player here, we didn’t even get close to playoffs,” Kim said in a phone interview. “To not only come in and earn a home playoff game, but to be dominant in our first game, it was huge for me. It means a lot to see how far our program has come.”  

The Indians (14-3) dominated possession throughout the game but despite a near six-minute attack in the first quarter, Hart came up scoreless. After calling a timeout, the Indians regrouped and rocketed ahead to take an 8-2 lead at halftime. 

Hart kept its foot on the gas with some of its key attackers moving around to confuse the Corona (16-5) defense. Osaria and Fuller typically play at the midfield for Hart but swapped spots with attackers Max Smith and Tim Larkins, to preserve their legs and throw off the Panthers’ scouting report. 

Fuller still operated with ease on offense and now eclipses the 80-goal mark on the season. Osoria thrived in the role as his five-goal performance was good for a single-game high this season. 

As for the defense, Hart limited the attack of Corona junior Cole De Venecia. The Panthers’ left-handed attacker found the net a handful of times but was clamped up for the most part by Hart defender Scott Morris. 

“They had a kid who scored 79 goals coming into yesterday’s game, so our focus was him,” Kim said. “We had Scott Morris on him and I think he did an excellent job on him all day. We did a great job of doing the little things. I think our clears were great, we did great with the ground balls and we kept guys out of the penalty box. That was huge.”  

Hart now advances into the sweet 16 and will face off with the Oak Park Eagles. Oak Park has won 11 straight games, earning the team a bye in its first round of the postseason.  

“I’m very excited,” Kim said. “I think it should be a good game on Friday. Oak Park is a great team. They play fundamentally sound. I think they have great athletes. It’ll be a good test for us, going on the road. And so yeah, I’m just very excited. I think our boys are ready. Don’t think we need to, you know, go above and beyond. I think we just need to play our game. 

Oak Park hosts Hart on Friday at 5 p.m. 

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