NorCal Update: Monte Vista Earns 9-5 Win Over Marin Catholic

(Photo: Casey Vock, 3d Rising)
(Photo: Casey Vock, 3d Rising)

The High School season is well underway in Florida and Texas, and more recently, just got rolling in California. So to kick off the year, 3d Rising made its way out to the San Francisco Bay Area, where several of the region’s top schools are taking the field over the next week.

We started it off with a look at Monte Vista, the reigning No. 1 team in the 2016 Rising State-By-State Rankings for NorCal. Monte Vista hosted Marin Catholic Friday night in Danville on the Mustangs’ home turf.

A back-and-forth game for the majority of the content, it was that was separated by a four-goal spurt by the Mustangs in the third quarter that would ultimately be the difference.

The win moved Monte Vista to 2-0 on the year, while Marin Catholic – playing its season-opener – fell to 0-1 with the loss.

We caught up with Mustangs second-year head coach Joe Rabinowitz after the game to talk about the win, following up on a successful 2016 season and the development of the program. You can see that interview here. Below are some notes on some of the players who stood out for the Mustangs and the Wildcats Friday night.

Chris Ryan, Attack/Midfield, Monte Vista, 2017 – Albany

Ryan was the most outstanding player on the field for either team Friday night. A quick, gritty right-handed playmaker, Ryan is loose, relentless and unpredictable as a dodger and shooter, and he showed the quick hands to make some really high-level feeds either coming out of his dodges or as defenders gave him a second with his hands free. He rarely stops his feet. He isn’t bothered by checks. Ryan has incredible snap on his shots. He has a quick trigger both to shoot and feed and some of his passes had that same pop that his shots did. One of his goals came as he took a feed a GLE, hesitated and then power-cradled to the front of the crease through checks and scored with ease. He scored another on the break, catching the ball and simply snapped his hands to put the ball directly into the bottom right corner. One of his assists was a slick lever pass to a cutter inside. He is an emotional jolt for his team and a fun player to watch. He led the way with four goals and an assist.

Chase Jolie, Midfield, Monte Vista, 2017 – Ithaca 

Jolie had a nice showing against Marin Catholic. A speedy, shifty and aggressive offensive midfielder, Jolie proved to be a hard matchup at the top of the box given his ability to change hands on the roll. That’s how he scored his second goal of the game – dodging to his right, going to his left and then rolling back right to let go of a low-to-low skipper that hit bottom right. He was also dangerous in transition where he pushed it with his speed and his willingness to shoot or whip a pass to the low post.

Hunter Perkins, Attack, Monte Vista, 2018

Perkins had a productive night for the Mustangs, scoring three goals spread across three quarters, adding two assists as well. He was subtle about his contributions, but there was no questioning his IQ or his ability to take advantage of space or even surprise his defender with a quick burst. One of his goals came on a strong dodge from X to above that took the defense off guard, and he blistered the shot from a low angle.

Tommy Baquerizo, Goalie, Marin Catholic, 2018

Baquerizo was fantastic in the 9-5 loss against Monte Vista, turning away possibly a baker’s dozen shots or more. Early in the game, he made some terrific saves on dodgers who’d gotten inside. He made stops low, from the knees and on shots hoping to find the high corners. As the Marin defense began to settle in for stretches, Monte Vista shots from far out became easy saves for He was a machine, and some of his stops really spoke to his toughness – he took a couple hard bouncers off the shins, he used his arms to deflect shots in close. His most impressive saves came late in the game, including a cross crease dive and a stuffing of wide-open skip shot in transition.

Nathan Fernandez, FO/Midfield, Monte Vista, 2017

Fernandez had a great night against Marin Catholic, winning a totally one-sided amount of his attempts. He’s scrappy, wins out battles low to the ground and then shows the good legs to chug up the field to push the ball into the box. He was an important factor in this game, as he helped the Mustangs keep the pressure going during the four-goal spurt.

Marshall Kay, Defense, Monte Vista, 2017

Kay is a reliable, good-sized left-handed defender who displays good fundamentals and does not make it easy to beat him with good positioning. He quietly did a great job in quieting his assignments throughout the game against Marin Catholic. He’s got range and is a leader for the Mustangs on the back end. He is solid

Levi Smyth, Defense, Monte Vista, 2017

Smyth showed himself to be a tough, aggressive and sometimes nasty defender who can get into his attackman, throw a flurry of checks and overwhelm the ball carrier. He really hounded the ball and when he helped on a slide, he brought the thunder and was all over hands and sticks. He put the ball on the ground a number of times.

Jack Scherer, Defense, Marin Catholic, 2018

Scherer is a physically impressive, strong defender who is tough inside for Marin Catholic and is actually pretty smooth for a kid with as much muscle as he has. He was calm picking up the ball and changing direction and protecting the stick from the ride. He helps form a solid and athletic defense for Marin and is a formidable matchup for most high school attackman.

Jack Goller, Midfield, Marin Catholic, 2019

Goller showed well against Monte Vista as an athletic, smooth and fast midfielder who can really move up the field. He has good fundamentals, goes to both hands, scraps in the middle of the field and will get looks at the cage as a dodger. He scored going down the alley to his left, he rolled back topside and scored from the middle of the field. He’s a smart player and looks to have a bright future for the Wildcats.

Graham Blake, Attack, Marin Catholic, 2020

Blake is a fundamentally sound, efficient right-handed attackman who gets the ball in and out of his stick and is always moving his feet. He scored a slick backhanded goal, coming up with the ball as it squirted out of a scrum and whipping it barely looking at the cage. He puts the ball on the money and looks like a great option to distribute the ball from X. He played with IQ and is a young player to watch for the Wildcats.

Vinnie Martin, LSM, Marin Catholic, 2018

Martin is an aggressive, speedy groundball machine and shows the ability to push out and harass a ball carrier early in the possession and in disruptive fashion. He was all over the middle of the field for the Wildcats, including coming off the wing. He has a great stick and really moves his feet quickly once he snags the ball.

Hailing from Upstate New York, Casey Vock is the manager of 3d Rising. Before joining 3d Rising, he spent three years at Inside Lacrosse, where he was a full-time writer for Inside Lacrosse Magazine,, and covering all facets of the game. He was named the editor of in November 2012 after helping launch the site a year earlier. Prior to joining Inside Lacrosse in Baltimore, Casey was a freelance writer in Upstate New York covering professional, college and high school lacrosse for Inside Lacrosse, as well as writing for the Press-Republican newspaper in Plattsburgh and other media outlets. Casey played lacrosse in high school at Indian River and went on to play at Jefferson Community College. He earned a bachelor’s degree in journalism and business from SUNY Plattsburgh, an MBA from Syracuse University’s Martin J. Whitman School of Management and an MS in media management from the S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications at Syracuse. Reach him by email at and follow him on Twitter @cvock.