DANVILLE -- The San Ramon Valley boys lacrosse team clinched the East Bay Athletic League title with a commanding 16-8 win over rival Monte Vista on Friday in the regular season finale for both teams.
After falling behind 5-2 after one quarter, San Ramon Valley (13-9, 7-0 EBAL) outscored the Mustangs 7-0 in a massive second-quarter surge, and extended the run to 8-0 on a Keegan Lancaster goal in the third.
In the heated battle in front of a large crowd, Lancaster had three goals in less than a five-minute span of the second quarter. Peter Tagliaferri had a big night with four goals for the Wolves, who will likely receive one of the top four seeds for next week's North Coast Section Division I playoffs. Seeds for the playoffs and first round games will be determined Saturday.
"It was an emotional game for everyone, EBAL championship game, both teams unbeaten in league, and I'm just pumped for our victory and ready to take it to NCS and win this thing," Tagliaferri said.
Tempers flared with 6:24 left in the fourth quarter as Monte Vista's Devin Spencer, who led his team with three goals, and the Wolves' Niko Souza got saddled with five-minute unsportsmanlike conduct penalties.
Monte Vista (12-6, 6-1) finally ended the 8-0 scoring drought with a goal by Jack Sauer with 8:28 left in the third quarter, trimming the deficit to 10-6. But the Wolves quickly retook control with another 5-1 run. The Wolves' Austin French upped the lead to 16-7 in the fourth quarter.
The Wolves woke up in a big way in the second quarter, scoring three goals in less than a minute to tie it 5-5 and force a Mustangs' timeout. The Wolves kept pouring it on, extending the run to 7-0 after successive goals by Lancaster, Carter Nichols and French.
Monte Vista started the game hot, thanks to some deft shooting by Tanner Smith, who scored twice during the first quarter. He fired into the upper part of the net from the right to even the score 1-1, and later struck from the left side to up the Mustangs' lead to 4-2. Spencer made it 5-2 with a goal off a nice assist from Ryan Christopher.
San Ramon Valley last won a North Coast Section Division I title 2012, and Monte Vista won its fourth crown in 2011.
After the game, San Ramon Valley's players shared the victory with Todd French, a longtime lacrosse coach in the area who is battling cancer. French came down to the sidelines after the game to greet the players.