Christopher High senior defenseman Danny Camilleri looks to make a play against the Acorns April 10 after driving past a defender. Photo: Jonathan Natividad
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Alex Eidler is building the Christopher High boys lacrosse program. The Cougars are 10-1 overall this year, 4-1 and in second place in the Blossom Valley Athletic League. The squad was 8-4 last year, 8-3 in league action. 

This season, they have decisive BVAL wins over Sobrato 17-3, Leland 11-1 and 15-6 and Pioneer 12-3. The up-and-coming Cougars remain behind powerful league leader Live Oak. A recent 11-1 loss to the Acorns on April 10 displayed promise and progress, as a year ago Live Oak blasted CHS 21-0 and the Acorns played much of the game without their starters.

Stats available online show Eric Carbajal leading Christopher with 21 goals and five assists. Nate Cortez is right there with him, with 20 goals and seven assists. Evan Vernon has scored 10 goals. 

Other offensive contributors include Josiah Garcia with six goals and Jacob Perales and Sophia Robledo with five goals. The offense has produced 123 goals in the 11 matches. The defense is much improved, allowing just 48 goals in 11 contests, and a key part of that is goalkeeper Ryan McDonald. Other key contributors on both sides of the field include Danny Camilleri, Jordan Nelson, Martinez Brayden and Drake Silva.

“Going against teams like Live Oak brings positives but also negatives,” Eidler said. “We’re a young team; we start only four seniors. We are growing our program and in the community. The only place to go is up.”

In the game at Live Oak, the Acorns led 5-1 at halftime, 7-1 after three periods and then pulled away. They were led on the attack by Kenyon Castro with three goals and Ben Ledwith and Ryan Forbis with two scores each. The Live Oak defense was headlined by Forbis, Lucas Marcheschi, Dylan Fisher and goalkeeper Kyle Carmichael.

Christopher’s lone goal came from Vernon, midway through the second period. The play began with Cortez and featured several good passes to set Vernon up. The junior midfielder converted by firing in a hard, low shot.

Christopher stayed competitive throughout and the score reflected it. Live Oak dominated time of possession, but the Cougars held the fort. Scoreboard statistics showed 28 shots by the Acorns.

“Our defense held the line strong,” Eidler said. “Especially our goalie Ryan (McDonald). He kept us in the game. It was a good game, a good wakeup call. They had the ball on one side of the field a lot and that gets you tired.”

The upcoming schedule features three more league contests. The Cougars host Sobrato on Wednesday, April 24, travel to Pioneer on Friday, April 26, and close out with a home contest with Live Oak on Wednesday, May 1. Eidler and the team enjoy the progress and the wins of the season, along with learning opportunities when they play a powerhouse such as Live Oak.

“These are the games that teach us what we need to fix,” Eidler said. “Still, it’s a lot of positive progress.”

Christopher High senior Ryan McDonald, pictured April 10 during a game against Live Oak, has had an impressive season as goalkeeper. Photo: Jonathan Natividad
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