Win wraps up first Aztec lacrosse season
The Corona del Sol Aztec lacrosse team finished its inaugural season April 8 with a close 8-7 victory in the JV state championship game against Desert Mountain High School.
The team, which maintains club status at Corona, finished the regular season with a 9-1 record and defeated rival clubs Desert Vista and Mountain Pointe in the postseason en route to the championship game.
Corona, one of 14 junior varsity teams in the Arizona Youth Lacrosse League, was comprised of many first-year upperclassmen or freshmen with only a year or two of middle school lacrosse experience.
As a league rule for first-year teams, Corona was only allowed to compete at the junior varsity level even though the team had a number of seniors. Most of the seniors had never before played lacrosse, however, so Corona did not wield any significant unfair advantage over its opponents.
The Aztecs’ only loss came to Mesquite High School on March 7 in a game where Corona lost its focus and committed 21 penalties and thus spent most of the game in a man-down situation, eventually losing the game 10-8.
The team was carried offensively throughout the season by standout freshman and team co-captain Jordy Patterson, who led the league scoring 51 goals and adding 18 assists in the Aztecs’ 13 games.
Also leading the Aztecs in scoring were seniors Jonny Valentine and Greg Keller, junior Johnny Hodgson, sophomore Jay Allen and freshman Josh Arviso. On the defensive end, senior Wyatt Wilkinson and junior Adam Sell led the strong defensive unit that was anchored by senior first-year goalie Eric Munkachy.
Corona will compete at the varsity level next year, with several new players joining the team from the Kyrene Warriors, the middle school team that shares the practice field with the Aztecs.
The Warriors also finished a strong season with a 9-1 record, and postseason play began April 27.