Published April 24th, 2013
Dons Edge Cougars to Remain Undefeated in DFAL
By Hunter Hewitt
Photo Ohlen Alexander
He may not be Al Pacino in Any Given Sunday, but Acalanes boys' lacrosse coach Brent Ringwood sure can give an inspiring halftime speech.
After a sluggish start against rival Campolindo, the Dons bounced back in the second half and captured a key Diablo Foothill Athletic League win in Moraga on April 19.
Led by senior attacker Connor Doyle, the Cougars built up a 5-3 lead early in the second quarter. Although Acalanes entered halftime with a 7-6 lead, Ringwood wanted more from his team, and attempted to motivate his players during the intermission.
With his best Pacino impression, he did just that.
"We came out flat and started really slow," said junior Robbie Stern, who scored four goals in the game. "Coach (Ringwood) gave us a nice halftime speech and that got us going. We came out in second half on fire and ready to play."
With a newfound energy, the Dons (11-4, 7-0 DFAL) outscored Campolindo (6-7, 4-3) by seven goals in the second half and secured a 16-8 victory to remain undefeated in league play. Senior attacker Wes Greason added three goals in the winning effort.
Despite the unfortunate loss, Cougars head coach Drew Welch was proud of his team's effort.
"We came out really strong and played well in the first half," Welch said. "It was a good fight, but they got the better of us. They are having a great season. Hopefully we will be able to see them again in the playoffs."
Acalanes' top competition in the DFAL race is their other rival school, Miramonte. The two teams met on April 12, and although the Dons came away with an imposing 16-2 win, it was the Matadors' (8-6, 6-1) only loss in league play.
With five league games remaining for each team, the title is still up for grabs.
"Our first goal is to stay undefeated in league and win the DFAL," Ringwood said. "If we can get past that, then we will look ahead to the playoffs. We had a couple of humbling losses earlier in the season that really helped us focus and we are playing well right now."
In a game that could potentially determine the league champion, Acalanes and Miramonte meet again on May 7 in Lafayette. It will be the last game of the regular season for the Dons, while the Matadors will play their final game on May 10 when they host Alhambra.
Welch hopes Campolindo can win its final five regular season games and have a "full head of steam" entering the playoffs. Although the season hasn't played out exactly how he hoped it would, he is still excited for the future of the program.
"We have some great senior leadership this year, but it has also been really exciting to see some of the younger classmen step up," Welch said. "We have a lot of freshmen and sophomores that have been contributing this season."
All three schools will likely compete in the North Coast Section Division II playoffs, which begin on May 14.
Photo Christian Hugener

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