With the end of the season just a few weeks away, games are taking on increased importance for playoff-hopeful teams. As a result there is no shortage of games to watch this week.
Novato at Mater Dei, Monday at 5:30 p.m.
Northern California vs. Southern California, as the Hornets travel to Santa Ana to play the Monarchs.
Breakdown: The Monarchs (7-3) continue to challenge themselves with strong out-of-town competitors. All three of the Monarchs losses have come from teams from San Diego, including their most recent game, an 11-10 overtime loss to Poway. The Monarchs will need to bring their A-game if they hope to beat Northern California powerhouse Novato (11-2).
Both teams pack an offensive punch. Novato has scored in double digits in all of its games. Mater Dei has scored in double digits in all of its games except for one, a 14-7 loss to Scripps Ranch.
Santa Margarita at Mater Dei, Tuesday 5:30 p.m.
The game that could decide the Trinity League championship.
Breakdown: Santa Margarita (10-3) is looking like a contender this year. They have already defeated St. Margaret’s. A win against Mater Dei will be further evidence that they will be a team to watch in May.
Look for a lot of scoring. The Eagles tend to win by outgunning their opponents. Just like Novato, Santa Margarita has scored double digits in all of its games. However, they have allowed double digits in goals in nine out of their 13 games they have played in.
Aliso Niguel at Trabuco Hills 5:30 p.m.
The battle for the South Coast League title.
Breakdown: If Trabuco Hills (10-2, 4-0) wins, the South Coast League title is all but locked up. But if Aliso Niguel (8-4, 3-1) wins, then the two teams will be tied for first place in the league with three league games remaining.
The Mustangs won the first matchup, winning 14-12 with Hennessey Evans and Ieneke Jimenez scoring five goals each.
Expect a high scoring affair because the Wolverines have their own secret weapon offensively – Taylor Wedlock, who leads the team in goals with 63 goals.
The Wolverines have yet to beat a top five team, but a win over the Mustangs will change that.
Novato at St.Margaret’s, Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.
The Tartans face the team that gave them their only loss last season.
Breakdown: After 12 days of rest, St.Margaret’s (5-3) face one of Northern California’s best.
High scoring seems to be the theme for the week and this game should be no different. The Tartans have a variety of offensive weapons and the Hornets certainly knows how to put points on the board. This game could be decided on draw controls and possession.
Foothill at Palos Verdes, Thursday at 4:30 p.m.
Orange County’s best faces one of Los Angeles’ best.
Breakdown: Palos Verdes (6-1) is coming off of a 14-8 loss to Redondo Union. The Knights (11-0) continues their strong start to the season, having scored double digits in all of their games and having given up double digits in just three games.
The Sea Kings will have their hands full trying to take down Foothill’s scoring trio of Ashley Stokes, Brooke Williams and Ava Brand. Also, keep an eye on Peyton Puma and Grace Cumming, who have also gotten into the scoring mix. Foothill is also at their best when Stokes distributes the ball, as Stokes leads the Knights in assists with 46.
Beckman at University, Friday 4 p.m.
A battle for first place in the Pacific Coast League.
Breakdown: Whoever wins will be in first place in the PCL and will have the inside track for the league title. The Patriots have won 19-straight league games dating back to 2017 and have never lost to the Trojans.
More recent history suggest, the Trojans (7-3, 4-0) may have momentum in their favor for this game, They enter the week on a five-game winning streak after beating an improved Woodbridge team 13-7. In the win against the Warriors, four different players scored three goals, including standout Mya Wang.
The Patriots (5-3, 4-0) enter the week on a two-game losing streak, having most recently lost to Corona Del Mar 11-9.
Foothill at Mater Dei, Saturday at 10 a.m.
A highly anticipated rematch from last year’s county semifinal.
Breakdown: Foothill has been waiting for this matchup since May 5, 2018, when Mater Dei beat the Knights in the county semifinals 12-11 in overtime. This game could decide who gets the top seed in May.
San Juan Hills at Los Alamitos Saturday at 10 a.m.
While not as big as Foothill vs. Mater Dei, this matchup will answer a lot of questions for both teams.
Breakdown: Both teams have been on the bubble in terms of being in the top 10 and have identical records. The Stallions (5-5) started out in the top 10, while the Griffins (5-5) are currently hanging on to their top 10 status.
The key players to watch for in this game are Riley Deutsch of Los Alamitos and Lucy Hodge of San Juan Hills. Both of these players are strong offensively and have the ability to take over games.
Los Alamitos survived a scare last week, as it beat Edison 10-9 in overtime. The Griffins trailed 7-2 at halftime and 8-2 at the start of the second half and didn’t have the services of Deutsch and Karina Perez, who were out with injuries, but rallied to force overtime and score the golden goal.
St. Margaret’s at Trabuco Hills, Saturday at 3 p.m.
A rematch of last year’s county semifinal.
St. Margaret’s, Mater Dei, and Foothill have been the dominant forces in Orange County girls’ lacrosse for the last several years. Many think that Trabuco Hills belongs in that conversation this year. A win on Saturday will put them in it.
This matchup will boil down to the Mustangs’ high powered offense against the Tartans’ resilient defense. A win for the Mustangs would be huge in terms of rankings, but it would also be a statement win, sending the message that the Mustangs have what it takes to make it back to the final four.