Mackenzie Wallevand scored three goals to lead the No. 1 Mater Dei girls’ lacrosse team to a thrilling come from behind 6-5 victory over No. 3 Foothill to give the the Monarch their first Orange County championship. Wallevand scored all three of her goals including the game-tying goal and the game winner in the second half to earn her game MVP honors and a stick from Alpha Lacrosse. Mater Dei will now play Oak Park for the Southern Section Championship Saturday at Valencia High School at 1:00 p.m.
Fueled by three goals from Emma Gaughran, outstanding goalie play from Hannah Upshaw (9 saves), and a slow down offense designed to keep the ball away from Mater Dei, Foothill built up a 4-1 lead by halftime. When Brie Ratkevich’s second goal expanded that lead to 5-1 early in the second half, things were looking bleak for the top-seeded Monarchs.
However, the Monarchs controlled the ensuing draw and all that followed to switch time of possession and momentum in their favor. The Monarchs began to pressure the Foothill defense with long possessions, and they finally broke through at about the 15 minute mark when Emily Maahs converted a pass from Maddi Hooks to make it 5-2. Wallevand followed up by scoring her first goal of the game a few minutes later to close the gap to 5-3.
Crazy to experience this as a parent for the first time. Like nothing else. Congrats to MD LAX on their championship pic.twitter.com/j7t1z9VMev
— MattMoneySmith (@mattmoneysmith) May 12, 2016
The Mater Dei surge continued when Grace Houser, closed the gap to one at 6:06. Houser’s goal sent the Mater Dei bench into a frenzy as the Monarchs began to sense that they were closing in on the ‘ship. Riding the emotion provided by the bench, Houser won the next two draws and Wallevand capitilized by scoring twice within the next minute to give the Monarchs their first lead of the game.
Foothill continued to fight and had a chance to tie when Walburger got off a shot from out front with less than 30 second to play, but Courtney Walburger picked the right moment to make her only save of the game.