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West Ranch lacrosse hosts first game

Prep lacrosse: West Ranch wins first home game in program history

Posted: March 28, 2013 10:28 p.m.
Updated: March 28, 2013 10:28 p.m.

The West Ranch Wildcats varsity lacrosse team celebrates its 15-3 victory over Simi Valley at West Ranch High on Thursday in the Santa Clarita Valley's first CIF-sanctioned lacrosse match.


The West Ranch Wildcats varsity lacrosse team knew it was being ambitious when it hoped its first-ever home game would fill half the bleachers on Thursday afternoon at West Ranch High School.

Not only were the home bleachers full, but the surrounding fence and knoll were dotted with spectators as parents and students alike came out to watch the Wildcats’ 15-3 victory over the Simi Valley Pioneers.

“We’ve been waiting for this for three years, playing club,” said midfielder J.K. Torres. “We were really surprised (by the turnout). It really boosted our morale.”

West Ranch (3-7 overall) became the first school in the Santa Clarita Valley to field a CIF-sanctioned lacrosse team when it fell 16-2 to Newbury Park on Feb. 25.

But the day the Wildcats had really been looking forward to was Thursday — when they would finally get to represent their school on their home field.

The hope is that West Ranch will provide a model that other schools in the William S. Hart Union High School District can follow.

“It’s our goal,” Torres said. “We want to compete with other schools and attract kids from other sports to see lacrosse is different and they can use their skills in lacrosse and hopefully get teams at (other schools).”

Whether other local schools get lacrosse teams or not, though, Thursday’s game will always mark the first time the sport was played in the Santa Clarita Valley at the CIF level.

And that’s something West Ranch takes a lot of pride in.

“It’s hugely important. It shows our school is supportive of a new sport and the amount of people is tremendous. This is where it starts,” said West Ranch head coach Paul Gordon.
On Thursday, it was clear from the beginning that the magnitude of the moment wasn’t lost on the Wildcats.

They were excited from the pregame warmups to the final whistle — joining in a circle on the field to celebrate when the game ended.

During the contest, it was Torres who led the way, scoring five goals and slicing through the Pioneers (0-8) with ease.

The Wildcats jumped out to a 4-0 first quarter lead and never looked back, increasing that lead to 9-0 at the halftime break.

Bryan Welch, Colton Long and Adam Perez each scored twice in the contest, while Zach Walker, Kobe Diamond and Kyle Esbin added one apiece. The Wildcats outshot the Pioneers 29-7.

“I think you’ve got to play at the level you want to compete with,” Gordon said. “I told the kids don’t look at this like Simi Valley. You put the best team in the league (in your head) and you don’t let up.”



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