Lacrosse: CdM, NHHS meet again

Back Bay rivals to square off in first round of U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division playoffs.

May 03, 2014|By David Carrillo PeƱaloza

Mark Todd is coming back to Corona del Mar High yet again, not to lead the Sea Kings, but to coach against them.

Todd has returned to CdM a handful of times since leaving the school five years ago. He's in his fourth season in charge of Newport Harbor, CdM's Back Bay rival. The schools have played five times since Todd moved across the bay.

The sixth meeting is Tuesday, when Todd guides the No. 15-seeded Sailors (8-8) to his former stomping ground to open the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division playoffs against No. 2 CdM (13-1) at 5:15 p.m.


"I hate playing those guys," Todd joked, knowing the Sea Kings have owned Newport Harbor since 2006. "CdM is a very physical team. They are a very smart team. They wear you down on defense. [To beat them, we're going to need] an incredible team effort and a little bit of luck."

The Sailors last topped CdM nine years ago, when Todd used to be at the helm of the Sea Kings.

The postseason contest marks the second between the two programs. The first came three years ago, in Todd's debut season with the Sailors. Newport Harbor lost in the opening round at CdM, 13-9, marking its closest game against the Sea Kings since 2006.

Corona del Mar is steam rolling into the playoffs, having won seven in a row, outscoring opponents by almost seven goals per game. Coach G.W. Mix, in his fifth season, has his Sea Kings focused since they suffered their only loss.

The lone team to knock off CdM this season was Beckman, which earned a No. 7 seed. The 10-9 setback on the road on April 4 happened a week after the Sea Kings easily beat Newport Harbor, 13-4, to claim the Battle of the Bay for the ninth straight year.

The Sea Kings have hunkered down defensively since losing to Beckman, allowing only four goals per game. Junior goalie Hoyt Crance and his twin brother, Hugh, a University of Notre Dame commit, and junior Brett Greenlee, a Denver commit, lead CdM on defense.

The defense faces a Newport Harbor offense coming off a 20-5 rout of Edison in a Sunset League finale on Friday. The goals set a Newport Harbor single-game school record, and Kole Escher played a big role. The senior attacker finished with five goals and two assists, and the goals helped Escher set a single-season school record for goals with 52.

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