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Dos Pueblos Boys Lacrosse drops Heartbreaker to Notre Dame in CIF-SS Div.  3 Semi-finals, 12-10 |  Sport
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Dos Pueblos Boys Lacrosse drops Heartbreaker to Notre Dame in CIF-SS Div. 3 Semi-finals, 12-10 | Sport

The most successful season in Dos Pueblos boys lacrosse history came to an end Wednesday in the CIF-SS Div. 3 semi-finals at Scott O’Leary Stadium.

Dos Pueblos had a 10-6 lead after the third quarter, but Notre Dame stormed back and shocked the Chargers, handing them a 12-10 loss to advance to Friday’s CIF-SS Final against Oaks Christian.

The semifinals are the furthest a Dos Pueblos lacrosse team has ever gone in the postseason, capping off an impressive season that included a Channel League championship.

“Obviously it’s unfortunate how things went today, but it wasn’t for a lack of effort,” Chargers coach Lucas Martinez said. “The boys left it all out…The way they played as a team was remarkable.”

Notre Dame came out of the gate swinging as they started the game with two goals in the first three minutes of the game.

However, Dos Pueblos immediately turned back with three unanswered goals from Daniel Finneran, Roman Christou and Jack Finneran.

The first two scores were assisted by Gus Miller and the third was created by Jack Finneran, who wrapped around the goal and found the back of the net for the 3-2 lead.

Dos Pueblos’ Cal Denier had another strong performance, winning the majority of the encounters in Wednesday’s loss. (Lily Chubb/Noozhawk photo)

The Knights’ Dustin Penchansky then scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-3 with 6:15 left in the first.

The Chargers dominated the remainder of the first quarter as Cal Denier consistently won faceoffs and Dos Pueblos’ offense yielded three more goals in the final 4:30 of the period.

Those three goals also came from three different scorers, with Daniel Finneran, Orion Prewarski and Chase Carlson finding weak spots in the defense and making Notre Dame pay.

At the end of the first quarter, the Chargers held a 6-3 lead.

The second quarter seemed to be heading towards another high-scoring affair, with Notre Dame scoring a pair and Dos Pueblos’ Roman Christou scoring a goal off an assist from Jack Finneran in the opening three minutes.

However, the Charger defense took it a significant step further to prevent the Knights from scoring before the final 9:35 of the second quarter.

Notre Dame fired eleven shots in that period, but Dos Pueblos’ defense and goalkeeper Danny Perez turned them away time and time again. Perez finished the evening with a total of seventeen saves.

“Danny Perez was an absolute animal tonight,” Martinez said. “He kept us in it when we made some mental mistakes and gave up too much on the transition.”

As time ticked down, it looked like the Chargers would take a two-goal lead into halftime. Jack Finneran had other plans.

The junior fought through several defenders before ending up in front of the Notre Dame goalkeeper, and he placed his shot with five seconds left on the clock to give his team an 8-5 halftime lead.

The third quarter was very similar to the second as both defenses once again held their ground and each offense produced a pair of goals.

The two teams traded scoring, with Dos Pueblos’ goals coming from Prewarski and Miller and Notre Dame’s Kaden Acevedo and Penchansky sneaking shots past the defense.

Dos Pueblos’ Daniel Finneran fires the ball past the Notre Dame goalkeeper for one of his two goals of the day. (Lily Chubb/Noozhawk photo)

As they had done in every quarter of the game, the Chargers had a three-goal lead, 10-7, after three goals.

“The first three quarters we played our game really well,” Martinez said. “We won faceoffs, we had the ball really well and we dominated the time of possession.”

However, the fourth quarter was the opposite.

Notre Dame came out of the break on a mission and they scored with two goals in the first three minutes of the fourth to cut Dos Pueblos’ lead to 10-9.

Four minutes later, Acevedo scored again for the Knights, tying the game for the first time since the middle of the first quarter, causing a hush among the Dos Pueblos faithful.

From there, Notre Dame rode the wave of the game’s momentum and scored two more goals while causing several Dos Pueblos turnovers.

When the final horn sounded, the Knights had secured their ticket to the CIF Finals, leaving the Chargers stunned after being outscored 5-0 in the final quarter of the game.

“In the fourth quarter we made too many mental mistakes, turned the ball over too much and gave the other team too many chances,” Martinez said. “They have taken away our biggest advantage in every match, which is time of possession.

The Chargers huddle around head coach Lucas Martinez after a timeout during Wednesday’s closely contested CIF-SS semifinal. (Lily Chubb/Noozhawk photo)

“They have a very, very talented offensive unit and when we made mistakes, they made us pay for them.”

It was a balanced attack for the Chargers in the loss, as four different players finished with two goals: Daniel Finneran, Jack Finneran, Christou and Prewarski.

For Notre Dame, Penchansky collected five goals to lead the team and the game as a whole.

With the loss, Dos Pueblos ends the year with an impressive 13-3 record, with the team’s other two losses coming in the first three games of the season.

“The best thing about this team is the way they played for each other,” Martinez said. “This team is so close, everyone just gives up on each other and the guys work so hard every day in practice and games, not for coaches, not for themselves, but for their teammates.”