Thing are heating up as we enter the fifth week of the season and approach April. League races and playoff seedings will be determined between now and the end of April. Let’s take a look at games to watch for from Monday March 25 to Saturday March 30. The records provided below are as of Saturday and include Rose Bowl Jamboree and LA/OC Shootout games.
Mater Dei (5-2) at St.Margaret’s (4-2) 5 p.m.
This is a rematch of last year’s Orange County championship game. The Tartans’s two losses have come against Westlake (19-13) and their most recent loss to Santa Margarita (14-13). The Monarchs’ losses have come against Scripps Ranch (14-7) and La Jolla (18-17).
Breakdown: Look for a high scoring game. Both teams have players that can score at will. The Tartans top offensive threats are Maddie Barkate, Campbell Case, Niki Miles and Jordan Miles. The Monarchs like to rely onTess Keiser, Gianna Danese, Peyton Smith and Ivy Nielsen.
San Clemente at Trabuco Hills 5:30 p.m.
The South Coast League this season looks like the strongest it’s ever been, as four out of the five teams have a record above .500. Two of those teams include the Tritons and Mustangs, who are both having great season.
If the Mustangs win, they will remain undefeated in the season, but if the Tritons win, that’s where it gets interesting, as the league could have a four-way tie for first depending on the result of San Juan Hills and Aliso Niguel
Breakdown: Trabuco Hills is an offensive-based team, as they have scored double-digits in all but one of their games (an 18-9 loss to Mater Dei). The Tritons on the other hand are a defensive based team, as they’ve only allowed two teams to crack double digits in goals (Mater Dei and Foothill).
This game could boil down to the Tritons’ defense and the Mustangs’ high-powered offense. While the Tritons have some newcomers, they have bought in to coach coach Josh Cain‘s gameplan. Ever since 2016, the Mustangs are 23-3 in league games that include Hennessey Evans.
Aliso Niguel at San Juan Hills 5:30 p.m.
The same time San Clemente and Trabuco Hills face each other, the Wolverines and Stallions face off against each other.
If the Wolverines win they will still keep pace behind Trabuco Hills. A loss from Trabuco Hills would also boost the Wolverines’ chances at winning the league title. But if the Stallions win, coupled with a San Clemente win over Trabuco Hills, there would be a three-way tie for first place between the Stallions, Tritons and Mustangs at 2-1.
Breakdown: Both teams are nearly averaging the same number of goals per game, San Juan Hills with 10.9 GPG and Aliso Niguel with 11.2 GPG. The two teams split the season series last year.
The Stallions are led by Lucy Hodge, who leads the team in goals with 30 and groundballs with 14. After winning their first four games of the season, the Stallions lost three straight, but rebounded with an 11-6 win over Tesoro.
The Wolverines are led by Taylor Wedlock, who leads the team in goals, assists and groundballs with 46, 8 and 12. Much like the Stallions, the Wolverines started out strong hit a rough patch, then got back on track.
Foothill at Santa Margarita
Two of the top teams in Orange County squaring off on a Wednesday. Both teams have had a strong start to the season, as both teams are a combined 13-1.
Breakdown: Both teams have scored double-digits in all of their games, so expect a high-scoring affair. Both teams also boast new goalies after having graduated last year’s goalie, with the Knights rotating goalies in between halves.
The Knights have had a strong start to the season, as they have wins over teams such as La Costa Canyon, Trabuco Hills and San Clemente. Offensively, the Knights are by “the three-headed monster” Brooke Williams, Ashley Stokes and Ava Brand.
The Eagles on the other hand have been the talk of Orange County, as they recently knocked off the reigning Southern Section champion St.Margaret’s winning, 14-13. The Eagles, whose lone loss was to Trabuco Hills, also have standout wins over Westlake, Aliso Niguel and Park City, Utah. The Eagles are led by Katelyn Murphy, Molly Jacobson and goalie Brogan Webster.
Newport Harbor at Edison 6 p.m.
A Sunset League game between two teams that are coached by second-year coaches. The two teams have had different starts to the season.
Breakdown: If the Sailors win, they have the league title all but locked up, as their last league game would be against last place Laguna Beach (who has not even played a league game due to forfeiting). But if Edison wins, that leaves the door open for either themselves or for Corona Del Mar or Los Alamitos, which play each other the same day as Newport Harbor and Edison.
After losing its first three games of the season, Newport Harbor has rattled off three wins in a row. But the Sailors will be coming in with a big question mark on their heads, as standout Reese Vickers suffered a knee injury in the Sailors’ win over Los Alamitos last Friday according to Sailors’ coach Brooke Martini.
For Edison, they’re currently 8-2 to start the week and 1-1 in league play, having picked up a forfeit win over Laguna Beach. The Chargers’ losses have come against San Juan Hills (6-3) and Corona Del Mar (11-6).
This game will be a special one, as Edison coach Rob Hendrix will be coaching against his previous school that he used to coach for, as he and his assistant coach Jeff Newman used to coach the JV team at Newport Harbor High School before starting up the Edison girls lacrosse program.