Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image 360

Beverly Hills, CA – Looking for their second consecutive win against a South Division team the Beverly Hills Lacrosse Club Bucks took to the field hosting the San Diego Rays. The Rays had already beaten the Beachcomber squad and played the Westside Express very close so the Hills squad knew they were going to be in for a very competitive game. But as the teams took the field for the opening faceoff you could see that the visiting Rays were low on numbers while the Beverly Hills squad was present in full force.

The game plan for the Bucks was to repeat last week’s performance when they played a very deliberate offensive set, kept their spacing and balanced the scoring….and the Bucks did just that. The teams traded possessions and turnovers for the first four minutes until Steve Brandenburg went behind the back with a cross crease feed to Will McCance who wasted no time putting the ball in the back of the net at the 15:23 mark. Joe followed three minutes later with an unassisted goal and the Bucks were up 2-0. At the 12:03 mark Slamm’n Sammy Edwards, the Buck’s speedy middy took a ground ball off the ensuing faceoff and fed Steve Brandenburg for the score. With less than three to play in the quarter Steve Brandenburg fed a cutting Eli Lasda from “X” and the Bucks held a 4-0 lead at the end of one. As usual Jared Jacobs was dominant going 4/5 at the “X” and Steve Brandenburg was involved in three out of the four scoring plays. Keeper Ron Fernando garnered five saves and the Hills squad went 8/10 clearing the ball. J D Johnson and Riley Lasda each had a takeaway. On the other side, with only one extra player on the sidelines you could see that the Rays were wearing down.

Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image 360

Halfway through the second quarter former Harvard middy Nick Smith returned to his dodging form as he cut and spun through three Ray’s defenders and uncorked a monster shot from about 15 yards out to make it a 5-0 game. George Pertessis followed with a solo rocket at the 9:10 mark and Slamm’n Sammy Edwards went lefty from outside to push the score up to 7-0 in favor of the home team. Nick Smith ended the first half scoring with a cross field feed to LSM Dustin Doty who didn’t waste the opportunity and gave the Bucks an 8-0 lead going into the half. Once again Jared dominated the faceoffs and netminder Ron Fernando closed the door on the Rays with three more saves. The Buck’s defense starting with the close poles and extending out to the middy defenders like Alex Jessup was sting staying on the Rays players hands throughout the quarter. Mark Bell, A J Hoffman and Johnny Brasko each had a takeaway during the quarter.

But the big halftime story was not the score. You had a Buck team with 12 guys on the sidelines and a Ray’s team that had quality players on the field but no reserves. Both teams wanted a more competitive game so they decided to even up the numbers as the Bucks sent six players to play with the Rays.

Photo by Jevone Moore / Full Image 360

 Brad Brandenburg went into the cage for the Hill’s squad. Joe Woody started off the second half scoring with a feed to Nick Smith. Will McCance then found George Pertessis curling off the crease and the Bucks were up 10-0. The next two scores came from the Rays but both were by Buck starters…..Sean Kane and Sammy Edwards. The quarter ended with a Beverly Hills 10-2 lead. Buck keeper had four saves in the quarter and for the first time this season Buck faceoff specialist Jared Jacobs was held under 50% at the “X”. Grant Firestone, the voice of LAX had a takeaway while fellow defender A J Hoffman garnered two as the stingy Buck’s defense refused to fold.

With the game in hand the Beverly Hills squad slowed down the game. Eli Lasda put one in from outside and George Pertessis finished up the scoring going solo after a takeaway on the other end. The final score was 12-2 in favor of the Bucks. The Bucks will host the Venice Lacrosse Club next Sunday at 3:30 before they travel back down to San Diego the following week to take on the league leading 40 Thieves Lacrosse Club.