After Foothill High couldn’t stop Ryan Mix in overtime, the Corona del Mar senior could hardly contain himself.
For the second straight year, Mix scored the game-winner against the Sea Kings’ nemesis in boys’ lacrosse.
This time after scoring on an assist from Kyle Canale, Mix threw off his helmet, shouted into the Newport Beach sky and celebrated wildly with his teammates. His sudden-death goal 28 seconds into overtime gave CdM a 7-6 nonleague win over Foothill at Peninsula Park Saturday. That was the same score as last year.
This was only the second game for the Sea Kings (2-0), but they celebrated as if it were for a championship. Who could blame them? The last time these teams played, Foothill rallied for a 10-8 victory to capture the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section Orange County title.
A year ago, during the regular season, Mix scored in overtime, as CdM beat the Knights for the first time in 10 matchups.
This one proved to be a bit of payback.
“Unbelievable feeling,” Mix said of scoring the game-winner. “Every single time we meet it’s back and forth. It’s a great rivalry and we’ve been lucky to get them both times in the regular season. It just felt great to put that last one behind them.”
Even Foothill Coach Jon Fox could understand that the Sea Kings’ win was huge.
“It’s a great win by them; I would be celebrating too,” said Fox, who has guided the Knights to three straight Southern California titles. “Any time you can beat Foothill [it’s great]. Who knows when the next time it will be for them. They did an incredible job.”
CdM senior goalie Hugh Foster stood out for sure. He recorded 18 saves and stepped up in only his second varsity start.
Last year, he was a back-up to Andrew Noto, who graduated and is now at UC Santa Barbara. Foster said he was nervous before the game, but once it started he was ready to stop shots.
He too was overwhelmed with excitement when he saw Mix score.
“When that ball went in it was ridiculous,” Foster said.
Foster’s defense helped the Sea Kings deliver the Knights’ first loss of the season, as they fell to 4-1.
“I had the pleasure of working with Andrew Noto for three years,” said G.W. Mix, Ryan’s father who is in his first year as head coach of the Sea Kings. “[Noto] was a terrific goalie. But I have yet to see a performance at CdM from a goalie like I saw from Hugh today.”
Mix and Blake Burkhart scored two goals to lead CdM on offense. Burkhart and Alex Mainthow were defensemen who scored for CdM. Randall Nelson and Michael Keasey scored one goal each.
Mainthow’s goal proved to be extra special, as he turned 18 Saturday. The Sea Kings sang, “Happy Birthday” to him after the game.
Mainthow was also part of the CdM boys’ soccer team that won the CIF Southern Section Division IV title and the CIF Southern California Division II Regional championship.
“The soccer team was great winning everything, but the fact that [Foothill] took it away from us last year, this meant so much,” said Mainthow, a team captain. “When we got that goal it was just awesome. I really wanted it. I told myself I was going to work hard during the off-season to get this win.”
G.W. Mix didn’t mind CdM’s celebration even though it was the Sea Kings’ second game.
“That’s a pretty big rivalry,” G.W. Mix said. “Any time you have an opportunity to beat someone who has dominated Orange County the past six years, that’s a big moment. It’s been circled on our schedule since we lost to them. To have a chance to win it and to win it, it’s tough to control that emotion. It’s tough for me, no? That’s my kid.”
CdM opened with a 2-0 lead after one period, and led, 3-1, with just under six minutes left in the half. But the Knights closed the second period with two goals, as the teams were tied, 3-3, at halftime.
The teams traded goals in the third period, and were tied, 5-5, going into the fourth.
Ryan Mix scored with 6:42 left in regulation. But Foothill, which was without starting attackmen Tucker Rowe and Eric Adamson because of injuries, answered with a goal with 3:35 left in regulation.
Daniel Noto shot at the end of regulation, but the Knights’ goalie, Zach Schenker, stopped it for one of his 17 saves.
“It’s a statement, but if we learned anything from last year beating them in the regular season doesn’t mean we’re going to beat them in the playoffs,” Ryan Mix said of the win. “We’ve got to get a lot better before then.”