Lucas Newton Goes Out on Top With Corona Del Mar (Calif.)


Lucas Newton was tired of coming close to the end prize with his Corona del Mar (Calif.) High School boys’ lacrosse team and falling short. So, when playoff time rolled in, the senior attackman was determined to go out a winner.

The Sea Kings lost in the Orange County semifinals in 2019 when Newton was a freshman. They fell to eventual champion Loyola Los Angeles (Calif.) in the first CIF Southern Section tournament semifinals last year, after his sophomore season was canceled by COVID-19.

Corona del Mar faced a difficult battle going into the postseason this year as the No. 4 seed, but Newton proved instrumental in helping power the team to its first CIF Southern Section title. He tallied six goals and two assists in the Final Four, as the Sea Kings avenged two of their three regular-season losses with a 9-5 victory over Mater Dei (Calif.) in the semifinals and a 10-4 win over Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) in the final.

Newton is the USA Lacrosse Magazine West Boys’ Player of the Year.

“Freshman year, we made it to the semis and lost. We didn’t play sophomore year, and then we lost to Loyola in the semis junior year, so this year we were focused on winning a championship for our final run,” Newton said. “One thing I focused on was getting everyone bought in. This was our last shot for us seniors, so we wanted to do everything we could to win a championship. Everyone put their heads down and got to work, and capping it off against the best of Orange County, there’s nothing better than that.”

The Villanova recruit, 2022 USA Lacrosse All-American and two-time Sunset League Co-Player of the Year led Corona del Mar with 42 goals and 61 assists this season while playing along two other elite scorers in Logan Ip and Ty Caffarelli.

Newton’s performance in the postseason especially set him apart. He credited CdM alumnus and former Rutgers long-stick middie Jordan Pakzad for providing some additional inspiration going into the playoffs.

“He came back and gave a pump-up speech and told us how much he missed playing with his friends, and it was impactful,” Newton said. “I knew those would be our last four to five games together, and I didn’t want to end on any loss. I did everything I could to make sure we captured that championship. I didn’t want to do it any other way.”

The semifinal matchup against Mater Dei will stand out as his best game. Playing against the Sea Kings’ biggest rival in front of a packed home crowd, Newton scored two of his three goals in the final six minutes to help CdM pull away during a close fourth quarter.

He added two assists in that game and also won some crucial faceoffs for his team when called upon in those situations down the stretch. He said he just “found a way to take over.”

CdM coach G.W. Mix said he saw that from Newton throughout the season, but especially the playoffs.

“The biggest thing was he did whatever we needed him to do,” Mix said. “Whatever the team needed, he did well and did hard. Whether it was taking meaningful faceoffs in critical moments and keeping possession for us, scoring a big goal, making a big play to get an assist, he just did it — all the way through the playoffs. He was a good workhorse, playoff lacrosse player. Every championship team needs more than one of those guys, but you definitely need one to make those big plays in big moments and he certainly did that.”

Leadership was another important contribution Newton brought to the field. A three-time class president, he served as a team captain in 2021 and 2022 and tried to be a vocal player the Sea Kings could count on consistently.

Newton, who picked up lacrosse in about first grade while living in Massachusetts, prided himself on that and being a pass-first attacker more than anything.

“I value an assist more than a goal because someone has to get you the ball for you to be able to score,” Newton said. “I have two great teammates in Logan Ip and Ty Caffarelli, so I love feeding them and seeing them turn it into a goal. It’s really satisfying. My dad played basketball in college, so I grew up watching the NBA. I idolized Lebron James, and he’s one of the greatest passers in the game, so I always enjoyed his assist highlights more than his regular highlights.”

But like James, Newton also could take over a game when needed, and that’s what he did to go out a champion.


1. Corona del Mar (Calif.), 19-3

Led by West Region Player of the Year Lucas Newton (Villanova), the Sea Kings avenged two of their three regular-season losses in the CIF Southern Section Division 1 final four to claim their first title. After taking out top-ranked Mater Dei (Calif.), 9-5, in the semifinals, CdM defeated Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.) 10-4 in the final. Newton, the Orange County Register Player of the Year, had six goals and two assists combined in those games and led the team with 42 goals and 61 assists for the season. Midfielder Logan Ip (Harvard), who was named the CIF Southern Section Player of the Year, added 33 goals and 26 assists. Previous: 1

2. Mater Dei (Calif.), 17-4

The Monarchs’ season ended in the CIF Southern Section semifinals for a second straight year, but that defeat against Corona del Mar this time was their lone in-state loss. Mater Dei had beaten CdM during the regular season and also had a victory over runner-up Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.). Its other losses were against Corner Canyon (Utah) by one goal, and two teams in Maryland. The team graduates its defensive leaders in goalie Nick Colignon (5.8 GAA, 60 percent save rate) and Andrew Crosby (27 takeaways), but four juniors led the team in scoring – Nate Chu (36 goals and eight assists), Reece Lepham (33 goals, 15 assists) and Cole Crisostomo (28 goals, 13 assists) and Tristin Jewell (23 goals, five assists) – and standout faceoff specialist Lucas de la Paz (80 percent win rate) also returns. Previous: 2

3. Foothill-Santa Ana (Calif.), 19-5

Foothill fell in the CIF Southern Section Division I championship game for a second straight year, unable to repeat a narrow regular-season victory against Corona del Mar. The Knights had advanced to the final with a 10-8 win over St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.) in the semifinals. Senior goalie Drew Tyson (Swarthmore) had the best season in Foothill history with saves (227), save percentage (69.2 percent) and goals against (5.6), and juniors Jackson Hines (57 goals, 24 assists) and Luke Fox (44 goals, 39 assists) paced the attack. Previous: 3

4. St. Margaret’s Episcopal (Calif.), 19-2

The Tartans lost to Foothill in the CIF Southern Section semifinals but their only other loss was an overtime defeat against fellow semifinalist Mater Dei. Their two losses were by a combined three goals. St. Margaret’s was led by four All-CIF Southern Section seniors in midfielders Matt Groeninger, Will Stahl and Makai Todd, as well as faceoff specialist Bobby Springer. Previous: 4

5. Corner Canyon (Utah), 19-1

Seniors Jon King (92 goals, 31 assists) and Mason Quick (80 goals, 45 assists) dominated defenses in 2022, while powering the Chargers to their second straight UHSAA Class 6A championship. Corner Canyon beat American Fork (Utah) 15-10 in the final, and its only loss this season was against No. 1 Corona del Mar. Previous: 5

6. Torrey Pines (Calif.), 14-7

The Falcons beat Bishops School (Calif.) 10-5 to repeat as CIF San Diego Open champions after getting an overtime winner from Blake Washburn in the semifinals against La Costa Canyon (Calif.). Torrey Pines had a notable win over St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), while two of its losses were in overtime against top teams in Texas and four were against the West’s top 4. Jackson Bishop was named All-CIF San Diego Section Player of the Year, while Griff Grant, Tayden Bultman and Chandler Caster were named to the first team. Previous: 6

7. St. Ignatius Prep (Calif.), 18-4

The top-seeded Wildcats claimed their first CIF Central Coast Section title with a 19-13 win over Sacred Heart Prep (Calif.) in the final. St. Ignatius beat Menlo-Atherton (Calif.) 20-8 in the semifinals and had notable wins over Foothill and Mercer Island (Wash.) earlier this season. The Wildcats played two competitive games against New York powers St. Anthony’s and Chaminade in April. Previous: 7

8. Arapahoe (Colo.), 14-5

The Warriors surged in the second half of the season to finish with eight straight wins, including an 8-5 victory over Mountain Vista (Colo.) to collect their first state title since 2013. Arapahoe opened the season 6-5 but found a groove with confidence-boosting wins over former No. 5 Regis Jesuit (Colo.) and Mountain Vista in back-to-back games in early May. Sophomore Mikey Moynihan (32 goals, 28 assists) and junior Fred Fulkerson led the offense, and Ian Thompson came up big in the postseason to finish with a 7.0 goals against average. Previous: 8

9. Brophy Prep (Ariz.), 21-2

The Broncos claimed their first Arizona state lacrosse title since 2013 with an 11-8 win over Desert Vista (Ariz.), as they went unbeaten against in-state competition. Their lone losses were against Mater Dei by one and Palo Verde (Nevada) in overtime. Previous: 9

10. Jesuit Portland (Ore.), 22-1

The Crusaders won their first OHSLA state championship with a 17-9 win over Lakeridge (Ore.), which had beaten Jesuit in the “Metro Championship” game in 2021 when there was no state tournament. Two-way midfielder Bennett Smith was named the OHSLA Player of the Year after finishing with 83 ground balls, 23 caused turnovers, 50 goals and 26 assists. Previous: 10


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