Aliso started the game strong winning the first draw and the first goal by senior midfielder Leah Keen in the first few minutes. Under direction from Head Coach Bob Mezeul, Santa Margarita regrouped and fought back hard, winning almost every draw. Aliso kicked into high gear with sidelines advice from Head Coach Dave Elkins on how to break through their opponents’ tight defense. On gaining possession, Aliso’s players zigzagged passes down the field avoiding Santa Margarita’s defenders.
When Santa Margarita had the ball, their players sprinted down the field and drove through Aliso’s defense. Both styles of play kept spectators on the edge of their seats as each goal tied the score or broke the tie until the last few minutes of play.
Three junior Aliso attackers preview what we can expect next season: Kendra Ziegler was high scorer for Aliso with four goals. Sydney Eskew from X position fed the ball successfully to her teammates and scored two goals when it counted most. Replacement goalie Cynthia Grivett took control of the clears to help Aliso retain possession. Aliso senior defender Madison McCann was noteworthy for her relentless defense throughout and well-timed steal.
Keen’s free position score broke the 9-9 tie in Aliso’s favor with three minutes left. Not leaving anything to chance, Aliso played keep away with long passes to run the clock while Santa Margarita played tight defense looking for any chance to gain possession. One long pass escaped its Aliso recipient, and players from both teams chased it out of bounds. After a tense moment waiting for the call, the ball returned to Aliso who held on for the 10-9 win.
Both teams have played tough schedules this season against many of the same teams. Aliso Niguel’s record is now 8-5 and with a LaxPower ranking of 10 compared to Santa Margarita’s 12th place ranking with a 4-8 record. This evening’s high velocity play by both teams made for an exciting night of girls’ lacrosse as the 2014 season draws to its close next week.
Article courtesy of Aliso Niguel Girls’ Lacrosse