Despite losing 15-8 in the CIF Division 2 Championship Final to battle tested St. Francis of La Canada a few weeks ago on the Culver City campus, the city is still buzzing about a sport that is finally moving up the headline chart.
Culver City lacrosse has been around for a long time, but now it is in the spotlight. The crowd was electric during the championship game.
Culver City’s head coach, Casey Chabola felt the energy of the crowd.
“I thought it was beyond my expectations, really,” Chabola said. “The amount of support, the amount of people that were there, the number of alums that were there and the community members.”
Chabola saw the fruits of the programs labor pay off when the Culver City varsity team made it all the way to the final championship game.
“It felt like all of the years and all of the hard work came together,” Chabola said during a phone interview this week. “Having those seniors play together all of those years really paid off.”
The team had a group of seniors that played together since elementary school. They won championships at Culver City middle school, so this team was primed and ready for the big stage.
Chabola felt like this team showed signs of greatness early in the season. “When we played against a some really good Division 1 schools like Crespi, Mira Costa and Harvard Westlake and we won two out of three games. It was kind of the starting point to see how well we could do if we continued to work hard and play as a team.”
The team took off from there. They ended the season with a 17-3 overall record and 6-0 Ocean League record. They were 12-3 at home and 5-0 on the road. They scored 317 goals and allowed 102.
In the championship game against St. Francis, Culver City got off to a good start with 4-1 lead.
After that, the Golden Knights started controlling the game.
“St. Francis is a really good team,” Chabola said. “They play in a strong league. They played very well. We could not get the ball. They controlled the ball and the clock. We were just a little off that night. Plays that we typically make we did not make. They took advantage of our mistakes and capitalized on them.”
Although a lot of Centaurs were responsible for the success of this years’ team, several players in particular had great seasons. “Justin Beighey’s scoring, Quinten Brunson’s did an outstanding job on defense and Joey (Chabola) did a good job as a two-way mid-field,” said coach Chabola.
Although the Centaurs are losing a lot of key seniors, the future looks bright. “We will really miss those six seniors but the majority of the team is returning,” according to Chabola.
“Our returning players will have to take on bigger roles next year. They will have to work hard and continue to improve.”