Scots suffer gut-wrenching overtime loss

Spencer Kelley, a sophomore, tries to get past the Palo Alto defense.

Zain Patel

Spencer Kelley, a sophomore, tries to get past the Palo Alto defense.

Zain Patel, Staff Writer

A high-octane offensive battle ended with a disappointing result for the JV boys lacrosse team as they fell to top-seeded Palo Alto High School 10-9 from a golden goal in overtime.

Arguably their best-played game of the season, the Scots played with an intensity that was seemed to be missing all season long. The competitive match came as a surprise to the Scots, for they did not predict that they would go toe to toe with an undefeated team.

“I think this game was bittersweet. We were proud that we were very close to beating Paly, but after a game that you know everyone put their hearts out for, there’s always going to be that lingering thought of what I or someone else could have done better,” said attackman Riley Schultz, a sophomore.

The first quarter saw plenty of action, as both offenses got hot and stayed hot early. Palo Alto got on to the scoreboard first, but the Scots answered quickly with two of their own from attackmen Spencer Kelley, a sophomore, and Matthew Schnapp, a freshman. The score remained 2-1 through the first quarter and seemed as if it were going to stay that way going into the second. Suddenly, a Palo Alto attackman slipped through the Carlmont defense for an easy goal just as the buzzer sounded, keeping the game tied 2-2 at the end of the first.

“That was one of the instances where you don’t think much about it while the game is going on, but when it’s finished you look back on it, and you’re like, ‘That was killer.’ Just one less second and we might have won that game. It’s pretty crazy to think about,” Kelley said.

The second half proved no different as the first, as both offenses seemed in no hurry to cool down. Carlmont retook the lead early in the quarter when Schnapp darted past the Palo Alto defense to score his second goal of the night, making it 3-2. Schnapp would go on to have seven goals in the game, a career and team-high.

“I don’t think I was playing much differently than what I usually do,” Schnapp said. “My shots just went into the net, and I ended up having a great night.”

Palo Alto responded to Carlmont’s goal with one of their own, but Schnapp made sure the Scots retained their lead going into the half by scoring again.

Palo Alto was mainly playing catch up, as Schnapp seemed to answer every Palo Alto goal with a goal of his own. The third quarter alone witnessed the freshman scoring two goals as opposed to Palo Alto’s one, giving the Scots a 5-4 advantage as the fourth quarter began.

“Schnapp was genuinely great tonight. I know I get on his case a lot for shooting a lot of shots, but in this game, I wouldn’t have minded if he took over 20. He was nearly flawless; he should be proud of himself,” said Chris Agbanusi, Carlmont head coach.

Palo Alto looked as if they got their swagger back in the fourth, as they came firing out of the gates. The newly invigorated team scored four goals in just six minutes to take the lead 9-6 with only five minutes to go.

“We got pretty scared. It was frustrating to see our solid work slip out of our hands,” Kelley said.

Schnapp once again led the charge for the Carlmont comeback, scoring two more goals to make the score 9-8 with one minute left in the game. It was the sophomore Matthew Gattey, however, who managed to weave through his defenders to make a crunch time goal for the Scots to tie the game 9-9 at the end of regulation.

“This was the first time we have ever been in overtime this season, so we have never gotten the feeling of complete exhaustion. Playing a full four quarters is one thing, but five, that’s just exhausting,” Schultz said.

Overtime saw little Carlmont possession, as the Scots defense could not clear the ball to give it to their attackmen. With fatigue gripping the Carlmont defense, the Palo Alto team saw their advantage and scored, ending the Scots’ chance of a major upset at 10-9.

The JV boys lacrosse team have had a roller coaster of a season. A promising start plagued by injuries and ineligibilities hindered their advancement in the rankings. However, as the season progressed, the young team seemed to turn their fortune around, and more than anything, they showed a bright future for next year.

“The game was a nail-biter to the very end. In the end, we should be proud of ourselves and what we have accomplished. Based on what I have seen today, we have a bright future, and I would not be surprised at all if next year we go out and beat Palo Alto,” Agbanusi said.