Fresh off of a win to claim the Division 1 CIF San Diego championship, Coronado advanced to the first round of the regional playoffs on Nov. 14.
However, the next round of the playoffs was short lived as the Islanders lost to Santana, 14-8.
The loss followed an end-of-the-season high for the Islanders after knocking out the No. 1 and 2 seeds in the semifinal and championship games in the CIF San Diego postseason.
“The kids played the best games during CIF, so it was awesome to see them peak at the end when it matters most.”-Head Coach Jesse Smith.
“The kids played the best games during CIF, so it was awesome to see them peak at the end when it matters most, and they won the Division 1 championship,” Head Coach Jesse Smith said.
Santana took the win but Coronado put up a strong fight.
Coronado’s scoring came from Luke Machin (2 points), David Abdul Samad (2), Kellen O’Callahan (3) and Ryan Mondzelewski (1).
“We came mentally focused and we just weren’t able to do it tonight, but I’m really proud of the guys and I think that they finished the season really well,” Smith said after the loss to Santana.
Losing seven seniors
Machin scored two key goals at the end of the second and third quarters.
The first, a result of his defense. Machin took possession of the ball from Santana’s offense before shooting it into the cage with 30 seconds left in the first half. The second came 3 minutes before the end of the third quarter.
The Islanders went into the second half trailing 7-4.
O’Callahan with back to back goals
O’Callahan, one of the seven seniors, led Coronado’s offense in the second half, and scored two of his three goals back-to-back in the fourth quarter.
His two goals—within 40 seconds of each other—with 4 minutes left in the game, were the final points for the Islanders.
O’Callahan’s success in the second half followed his two exclusions in the first and second quarters. He said he put his heart into closing the scoring gap.
“I wanted to just turn the burners on; I really wanted to win,”-Senior Kellen O’Callahan.
“I wanted to just turn the burners on; I really wanted to win,” O’Callahan said. “It was a big goal gap, and our coach was like, ‘if you guys want to win this, you’ve got to score every possession.’”
After the game, Smith commended all of the seniors for their tremendous work ethic and respect for each other throughout the season.
‘We’re looking to win it all’
Junior and captain Mondzelewski will be returning next season with a young team.
He already has his eyes set on propelling even further than the success of the 2023 season.
“Obviously it’s going to be tough with the seniors leaving, but I think next year we’re going to have a really good team,” Mondzelewski said. “I think we can go back-to-back D1. If not, I think we’re going to be right with Santana in Open Division next year. I mean, we’re looking to win it all.”