Olivia Gritzmacher (pictured left) scored seven goals to lead the Newport Harbor girls lacrosse team to a 13-3 win over Esperanza on Thursday at Esperanza High School. The Sailors used tight defense, draw controls, and eight second half goals to break open what had been a close game in the second hal.
Joelle Rothbard (pictured right) added three goals for the Sailors. Zoey Palmquist, Mary Jones and Catherine McRory each scored one goal for the Sailors. Willa Rath frustrated the Aztecs with nine saves.
The first half was tight as both teams’ defense looked sharp early on. With the score tied at 1-1, Sarah Chiaramonte gave the Aztecs a 2-1 lead at the 17:48 mark.
After that goal, Newport Harbor kept Esperanza scoreless for the next 16:30, and took its first lead of the game at 3-2 after Gritzmacher, who scored the first four goals for the Sailors, scored her third goal of the game close to the halfway mark. The lead stretched to 5-2 until McKennah Renfro scored at the 1:18 for the Aztecs, making the Sailors’ lead 5-3 at halftime.
Newport Harbor shut Esperanza out in the second half, as they dominated the draw controls and played stifling defense. Rath also stepped up in the cage with five second half saves.
Sailors’ coach Brooke Martini was proud of how her team played in the second half after her team only led by two at halftime. Martini also encouraged and challenged her team to not allow anymore goals in the second half.
Sara Slonkowsky, Renfro and Chiaramonte each scored one goal for Esperanza, which got six saves from Anez Fernandez. Aztecs coach Brian Eisenberg was proud of how Fernandez, who is in her first year at goalie after playing defender on JV, played despite the loss.
“We had a lot of good opportunities that we didn’t capitalize on and Newport did a great job of taking advantage of the momentum and building on it,” Eisenberg said. “We got the ball a lot, we played some pretty good defense, we did a lot of good stands on defense, but they [Newport Harbor] maintained their composure, and by doing that, it made it tougher to stop again and again.”
Next up for Newport Harbor (1-1), a road game against Chaminade on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. For Esperanza (2-2), its next game is Tuesday at Corona Del Mar at 3 p.m.