Village News Reporter
Although Fallbrook High School’s boys lacrosse team lost in the first round of the CIF Division II playoffs, Fallbrook coach Ryan Farish is happy with the Warriors’ 2023 season.
“I think in general we did pretty good,” Farish said. “A lot of guys did a good job stepping up.”
Fallbrook’s overall record was 10-9 including the playoff loss. The Warriors were 2-3 in Palomar League play, which was fourth place in the final standings.
The 2022 Warriors were 14-7 overall, including a first-round win and a quarterfinals loss in the CIF Division II playoffs. Last year the Warriors were in the Valley League and had a 4-1 record against league opposition.
The boys volleyball North County Conference leagues were realigned for the 2016 season based on competitive balance, and in 2020 the North County Conference planned to realign leagues in all sports based on competitive balance although the coronavirus restrictions delayed that for some sports.
Fallbrook was placed in the Palomar League for 2023, which also included Valley Center, Del Norte, Mount Carmel, Rancho Bernardo and San Dieguito Academy.
“We moved up a league and we went 2 and 3,” Farish said.
Fallbrook defeated San Dieguito Academy and Rancho Bernardo. The Warriors’ loss to Mount Carmel was by one goal.
“We had some harder competition against Valley Center and Del Norte,” Farish said.
Valley Center had a 5-0 record to win the league championship. Del Norte’s 4-1 league record reflects a 10-9 overtime loss to Valley Center.
Two teams from the state of Washington visited San Diego County in April, and Fallbrook played both Wenatchee and Juanita (which is in Kirkland). Fallbrook lost both games, and Juanita’s 15-1 victory was the Warriors’ largest margin of loss in 2023 as well as this year’s only game in which Fallbrook didn’t score at least three goals.
On three occasions Fallbrook allowed three goals or fewer. “Our goalie Jayms McAlexander really progressed from never playing lacrosse before to being a guy we were able to rely on,” Farish said. “He just wanted to give it a shot for his senior season and ended up being our starter for the majority of our games.”
Ten players from each team are on the field at one time in boys lacrosse. Fallbrook had a varsity team with only 25 players on the roster, including freshmen and other players with no previous junior varsity experience.
“We didn’t have the depth,” Farish said. “We were exhausted by the time the fourth quarter rolled around.”
Many players took both offensive and defensive roles during the season.
“Defense played really well,” Farish said. “We had some highlights offensively. There were some bright spots.”
The May 6 CIF playoff selection and seeding meeting gave Fallbrook the 11th seed among the 12 Division II teams which received playoff berths. The Warriors traveled to sixth-seeded Pacific Ridge for a May 11 playoff game. The Firebirds advanced to the quarterfinals with a 9-8 win over Fallbrook.
“We wanted to make a little bit deeper run in the playoffs, but Pacific Ridge was a good team,” Farish said.