Getting six goals from senior Nelson Perla-Ward and a solid defensive effort, the Sacred Heart Prep boys held off Foothill, 11-10, and captured third place in the S & R Sport Invitational on Saturday at the William Woollett Jr. Aquatics Center in Irvine.
Grant Harvey field blocked a hard shot out of bounds, sparking a counter-attack goal by Michael Swart with 2:19 left in the fourth that gave the Gators (12-1) an 11-9 lead and the eventual game-winning goal for the top team in Northern California.
Swart finished with three goals while goalie JC Marco had 11 saves. SHP dropped its semifinal match, 21-9, to eventual defending champ Harvard-Westlake (15-0), which routed Corona del Mar in the finals, 22-7. CDM is ranked No. 2 in Orange County. Swart had five goals against Harvard-Westlake and finished with 18 for the tourney.
"Very good weekend," said SHP coach Brian Kreutzkamp. "Harvard-Westlake is without question the top team in the nation right now and we learned a lot from playing them.
"I was proud the way our kids bounced back and played in the third-place match. We were down two goals at halftime and they just kept on fighting and clawing back even when things were not going our way."
Also Saturday, Menlo School left no doubt that its one-goal victory over San Ramon Valley at the Scott Roche Invitational was legit after the Knights posted a 10-8 nonleague triumph over the Wolves in Atherton.
Menlo (13-1) came out strong in the rematch of last month's tourney, grabbing a 9-4 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Led by goalie Spencer Witte (12 saves) and Weston Avery (five steals), Menlo's team defense and counter attack proved too much for SRV.
Andreas Katsis, meanwhile, continued to establish himself as one of the top shooters in Northern California by scoring four goals from the outside. Fellow seniors Nick Bisconti and Chris Xi both scored twice for Menlo.