LAFAYETTE -- The Acalanes High boys lacrosse team continued its proud tradition of having one of the top programs in the East Bay, and in an impressive 2014 campaign, Robbie Stern cemented his status as one of the best players in Dons history.
With 45 goals and a team-high 36 assists in 24 games this season, Stern leaves Acalanes for Colorado College as a two-time first-team all-Diablo Foothill Athletic League selection, an All-American and the Bay Area News Group's East Bay boys lacrosse player of the year.
Stern led Acalanes to the DFAL title and a 17-3 regular-season record that included wins over Division I playoff teams Monte Vista, Redwood-Larkspur and San Ramon Valley. The Dons (20-4) also finished with 20 wins for the first time in history.
In his team's final two postseason games, Stern had seven goals and five assists, as Acalanes came within a whisker of winning a second straight NCS Division II title, losing to Marin Catholic 7-6 in overtime in the final.
The loss stung, "but after a couple of days, I talked with every one of my teammates, and we realized what a great season we had," Stern said.
Coming off an impressive football season in which he helped Acalanes finish 8-4, Stern was a little stronger, a little faster and a little more confident on the field for his senior season of lacrosse.
"I felt like I was going to be able to have a bigger impact this year than I did in the past," he said, "and I was just going to try and take advantage of every opportunity that I had."
Things started off well for the Dons, who won 11 of their first 12 games. The only loss was to Las Lomas, which served as a reminder to Stern and his teammates that average performances weren't going to be good enough against quality teams.
Just over a month later, the Dons avenged their loss to the Knights to capture the DFAL title.
"Before the second game, we talked as a team about how we felt after losing the first game," Stern said. "We used that as a little bit of extra fuel to win the league championship."