The Newbury Park and St. Margaret’s girls lacrosse teams had never played each other before, but the two were very familiar with each other.
The Tartans came in at No. 6 in Division 1 in the most recent CIF-Southern Section rankings, while the Panthers were No. 7, making them a slight underdog.
The Panthers had a chip on their shoulder for another reason, according to senior Erin Duffy.
“Playing as Los Angeles lacrosse versus Orange County lacrosse,” Duffy said. “That’s kind of like the rivalry and putting like LA lacrosse a little bit on the map.”
Newbury Park was able to prove itself on Saturday afternoon, beating St. Margaret’s, 12-4, at Newbury Park High School.
“We have a lot of great talent on this team and it’s really nice that everyone’s being able to grow on the field,” said junior Emma Ing. “Our main focus was to play composed and play our game and not to panic and freak out so I think that we executed very well and we moved the ball and got some really nice shots on goal.”
Ing and Duffy led the Panthers offensively on Saturday as the former was able to score five goals and the latter chipped in three goals.
Duffy had two goals early as Newbury Park jumped out to a 3-0 lead with 15 minutes remaining in the first half. St. Margaret’s was able to prevent a shutout with a goal seven minutes later, but the Panthers hardly flinched.
Ing, an Oregon commit, received a long pass and took off on a breakaway near the six-minute mark, then drew a penalty and scored on the ensuing play. One minute after that, Duffy drew another penalty and scored to put Newbury Park up 5-1 with 4:22 left in the opening frame.
St. Margaret’s potted a goal once more before the end of the first half, but Ing logged two more goals in the final 15 seconds — one as a result of a ground ball and another off of a faceoff — to make it 7-2 in the Panthers’ favor.
Sophomore goalkeeper Daniella Guyette was instrumental for the Panthers in the first half and finished the game with 14 saves.
“Freshman year she had a lot of great stops, but she’s obviously only improving,” Duffy said. “She works a lot with Orange County teams, too, from club lacrosse, so she’s rapidly improving all the time.”
St. Margaret’s played the second half a man down as a result of penalties, which gave underclassmen a handful of scoring opportunities. Freshman Lindsay O’Toole netted two goals as the Panthers controlled the pace in the second half.
“When we’re man up, it really allows the younger girls to get in there and start improving their skills in a high level game,” said Duffy, who will play in college at UC Davis.
Underclassmen got plenty of experience for St. Margaret’s as the Tartans started three freshmen against the Panthers.
“I thought they did really well. They handled the pressure well,” said first-year coach Mollie Stevens. “It’s kind of interesting to see how they’ll react in a game like this because nothing went our way today, but I thought they did great and they handled themselves well.”
The Tartans next host Westlake on Wednesday at 6 p.m. while Newbury Park looks to extend its current 4-0 win streak at West Ranch at 3 p.m. on Friday.