by Sue Pascoe
The Palisades High School lacrosse team beat Birmingham 17-3 in a home game on April 3.
Nine players scored for the Dolphins and included Macchio Rissone with six goals; Reicher Bergstein, James Burks, and Jack O’Rouke each had two; and adding one were Zane Daily, Brandon Kay, Joey Hirshman, Liam Mathers and Martin Avila.
Faceoff man Brandon Kay should be credited for his skill in giving the Dolphins possession after possession.
At the beginning of the season, head coach Kevin Donovan said, “We could go 16-3 [in the City] and win everything, but I’d rather go 7-7 and get the team better prepared for the [Southern Section] playoffs,” he said. (Last year, the Dolphins ranked 16th, played top-seeded Palos Verdes, losing 21-3 and were eliminated in the first round. Palos Verdes went onto the championship game against Loyola, losing 7-6 in overtime. Loyola then beat Corona del Mar to win the Southern Section title.)
Donovan put together a tough schedule for his players, which includes teams outside of the city league: Chaminade, Oak Park, Redondo Union, Mira Costa and Thousand Oaks. Currently the team is 7-6 overall and 4-0 in League.
PaliHi goes on spring break the second week of April. “Our biggest challenge will be shaking off 10 days of no stick work or conditioning, as well as motivating ourselves to finish off the season strong,” Donovan said. “We have a large senior class moving on who don’t have a signature win yet this season or in the last three years, but we play three-ranked opponents in the final seven days of our season (fourth-ranked Oak Park on April 21, tenth-ranked Santa Monica at home on April 24, and fifteenth-ranked West Ranch at home on April 28).
“There is still work to be done, but very little time or room for error in the final weeks,” Donovan said. City League finals are April 28 and CIF Round 1 begins May 2.