In a battle between the No.1 and No.2 team of the CIF-SS Division 1 girls lacrosse polls, top-ranked Foothill beat second-ranked Aliso Niguel 18-8 on Thursday at Aliso Niguel High School.
Ashley Stokes (pictured middle) led the Knights with five goals while Elena Torres (pictured left) added four goals. Defensively, Stokes added nine groundballs while Kat Chavez (pictured right) made nine saves for Foothill.
“I think for us it was just finding our groove, being patient and making sure we executed our plays and the draw was another big thing for us as well,” Knights coach Cristina Johnson said.
After Ashley You got the Wolverines on the board first with a put-back goal, Torres and Stokes responded for Foothill giving them its first lead at 2-1 at the 20:57 mark, forcing an Aliso Niguel time out.
The Knights led 3-1 after a goal from Delaney Healy until Taylor Wedlock answered with a free position goal for the Wolverines, cutting the lead down to 3-2. Foothill began to create some separation when Peyton Puma, Grace Cumming and Riley Callanan scored the final three goals of the first half to give the Knights an 8-4 advantage at the intermission.
Despite a slow first half, Stokes caught fire at the start of the second half, scoring the first three goals and giving the Knights an 11-4 lead. The lead continued to grow as Puma’s second goal of the game made it 12-4 after five minutes had passed from the second half.
Wedlock responded with three consecutive goals for the Wolverines, which cut the lead down to 12-7 at the 8:49 mark.
“She’s a beast. I love playing against her, love her fight, love her stick skills, love everything that she’s doing out there on the field. I was nervous there for a second, she was getting them [Aliso Niguel] to rally. She brings a lot of that energy that we love to play against,” Johnson said of Wedlock.
Sydney Gonzales added on another goal to give Aliso Niguel more hope and trim the Foothill lead down to 12-8 at the 6:30 mark. But Chavez and the Foothill defense put the Do Not Enter sign on the cage and held the Wolverines scoreless the rest of the way.
“I think that’s going to be a game that we’ll see again in the future and I think we’re going to be in a better spot. I was proud of the girls tonight, I don’t think the final score reflects the game,” Wolverines coach Dave Elkins said.
Wedlock led Aliso Niguel with six goals while Gonzales and You each had one goal. Olivia Kilroy made 13 saves for the Wolverines.
Cumming, Healy, Callanan and Puma each scored twice for the Knights while Andie Pomeroy added one goal. The Knights’ first four games have resulted them winning by 10 or more goals.
Next up for Foothill (4-0), a home game against Trabuco Hills on Thursday at 5:30 p.m. For Aliso Niguel (4-1), its next game is Tuesday at home against Redondo Union at 5:30 p.m.