GLax Preview: No.1 Mater Dei vs. No.4 St. Margaret’s

Matchup: No.1 Mater Dei plays No.4 St. Margaret’s at Portola High School at Portola High School at 11 a.m.

Previous meeting: Mater Dei beat St. Margaret’s 15-8 at St. Margaret’s

How Mater Dei got here: The Monarchs beat University 19-5 in the first round and Corona Del Mar 11-8 in the quarterfinals.

How St. Margaret’s got here: The Tartans beat Aliso Niguel 18-5 in the first round and San Clemente 15-9 in the quarterfinals.

Players to watch for Mater Dei: Grace Houser, who has signed with Cal, leads the Monarchs in goals with 72 goals while Madi Hooks (31 goals) leads the team in assists with 56 assists. Other players to watch for Mater Dei include Lauren Gonzales (49 goals, second on the team), McKenzie Wallevand (26 goals, 30 assists), Courtney Walburger (98 saves).

Players to watch for St. Margaret’s: Niki Miles, only a sophomore, has taken St. Margaret’s by storm, as she leads the Tartans in goals with 66 and is second on the team in assists with 43. Cameron Manor, who has signed at the United States Military Academy at West Point, N.Y., leads the team in assists with 48 and is third on the team in goals with 56. Manor along with Miles will be tough duo to contain. Other players to watch for are Cailin Young (43 goals, 36 assists), Campbell Case (41 goals, only a freshman), Maddie Barkate (58 goals, second on the team), and  Ellie Jones (122 saves).

What you should know: Both teams come in with 13-5 records and both are averaging more than 10 goals per game (Mater Dei averages 14 GPG, St. Margaret’s averages 16 GPG). The only difference is, the Monarchs allow 7.1 goals per game while the Tartans allow 10.4 goals per game.

This semifinal game should be a high-scoring affair, with the number of scorers both teams have. The Monarchs haven’t lost to an Orange County-based team since 2015 when it lost to Beckman in the county semifinals.

The Tartans are making their semifinal debut for the first time since 2008, when the Tartans won the U.S. Girls Lacrosse County and Southern Section Championship. St. Margaret’s will have to bring it if they want to get back to the final for the first time in nine years.

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Teran Rodriguez
Teran Rodriguez has been a member of the MaxLax family for three years (going on four).