Published May 20th, 2015
Acalanes LAX Advances to NCS Semifinals
By Karl Buscheck
Acalanes senior Adrian Jeffries Photos Gint Federas
After storming through the DFAL with a perfect 12-0 record, the Acalanes boys' lacrosse team is looking to win its second NCS title in three seasons.
"Our senior class has played in two consecutive championship games and they're a real big reason that we got to where we are," said head coach Brent Ringwood.
As the Dons aim for another NCS banner, the team will be relying heavily on seniors Adrian Jeffries and Vinny Gladden along with junior Brian Maiken.
"Everybody's really stepped up, but those three guys are very exceptional players," said Ringwood.
The league champs earned the No. 1 seed in the Division II playoffs and had a bye in the opening round before taking down Campolindo at home on May 15.
"Overall, the effort was there the whole time, but in the second half, things really got rolling and we got some good looks," said Ringwood after the Dons topped the Cougars 13-6.
Next up on the docket is another clash with No. 4 seed Marin Academy on May 20 in the semifinals. Acalanes edged past Marin Academy 11-10 at the end of March in San Rafael.
"Anytime you play a team multiple times, you end up having to beat them in different ways," said Ringwood. "The last time we played them it was a double overtime win, so we have to figure something new because it's definitely not going to be the same thing twice."
For Campolindo, the loss to Acalanes in the quarterfinals brought to an end a historically successful campaign. The Cougars landed in second place in the DFAL standings with a 9-2 record; their only losses came against the Dons.
Campolindo swept past Miramonte and also hosted its first NCS game since 2008. Plus, Campolindo earned its first-ever NCS win, knocking off Bishop O'Dowd 14-8 in the opening round of the playoffs on May 13 in Moraga.
Head coach Mitchel Frey gave all the credit to his players: "The success goes hand in hand to the amount of work and effort that our kids put in and I couldn't be prouder of our group of kids."
Like the young Cougars, the Mats are another youthful team on the rise. Miramonte placed fourth in the league standings with a 6-6 record, earning the No. 12 seed in the NCS postseason. On May 13, the Mats nearly upset the No. 5 seed Novato on the road.
"We were aiming to make it past the first round," said head coach John Hofinga after his team lost 8-7. "We played a very good game. It was a one-goal game, back-and-forth the whole time and the guys played hard and I was proud of the way the team came together and really showed up to play in that last game, but we definitely could have won that game."
A quartet of senior captains-Sam Essabhoy, Spencer Hardwick, Josh Chen and Sam Tuttle-anchored the Mats in 2015, but the future looks promising thanks to an array of remerging stars.
"I think that was the key part-especially as the program continues to grow. If we get those younger guys to keep coming in year after year, it really builds a good foundation," said Hofinga. "We have that chemistry on and off the field and that translates to success on the field."
Miramonte senior Sam Essabhoy
Kannah Cruickihank, Campolindo

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