Murphy, Eagles stun No. 2 Westlake in overtime thriller

After a tough 16-11 loss to Trabuco Hills Thursday, the No. 4 Santa Margarita Eagles (6-1) head back to Orange County with county bragging rights, and a dramatic 12-11 overtime win over No. 2 Westlake (5-1) in Westlake Village on Friday. The Eagles were led by Katelyn Murphy (7g, 1a), who had a massive eight-point performance, including the game winner in overtime.

“We had a tough conversation [Thursday] after our loss and we bounced back,” said Eagles head coach Katie McHugh. “Since the turn around was so quick, we let it go and we came out angry and we were successful in it.”

Coming out angry was obvious by the Eagles early on, starting off the game up 4-1 with 12:24 left in the half. Murphy and Molly Jacobson (3g, 1a) were responsible for all of the Eagles points in the first half.

Katelyn Murphy (right) had a massive seven goals, including the game winner in overtime in the Eagles 12-11 win over the Warriors (Brandon Ross/MaxLaxInc).

The Warriors responded in the first half, however, and responded with a 4-1 run of their own to bring the half to a 5-5 tie. Shelby Tilton (2g) and Claire Moats (3g, 2a) were key contributors offensively for Westlake, and Moats was dominant in the first half in the circle winning 9 of 11 draws.

“We knew this game would be tough and that’s exactly what we got,” said Warriors head coach Lyndsey Munoz. “These kinds of games are why you play.”

Westlake stepped on the gas early in the second half and began the final stretch run on a 4-0 run, led by Moats and Kailee Follette (5g). Santa Margarita responded back with a 3-0 run of their own as the Warriors would hold onto a tight 9-8 lead with 10:28 remaining in the half.

The Eagles tied the game at 11 off a netter by Caylee Harrison (1g) with a little under five minutes remaining. Despite a shot that went off the pipe by Moats at the buzzer, both defenses really clamped down in the final few minutes of the game, and overtime ensued.

USC commit Shelby Tilton (left center) had two goals for the Warriors Friday night (Brandon Ross/MaxLaxInc).

Both squads came off games Thursday, so everyone who had a stick really had to dig deep in overtime. The Warriors started off with the ball and were patient early in the free period, but the Eagles defense held on, and Murphy ran down the field and bolted her seventh and final goal of the night to give the Eagles the 12-11 win.

“Katelyn [Murphy] is an awesome player,” McHugh said. “She’s successful all over the field and she’s learned so much. She’s a phenomenal player for us and I can’t wait to see what she does at the next level. I can’t wait to see how she continues to grow throughout the rest of this season.”

Brogan Webster was critical between the pipes down the stretch for the Eagles and finished the game with 10 clutch saves.

“[Webster] saved our butts down there,” McHugh said.

Rachel Blanton was a key contributor for the Warriors with seven saves of her own. Despite their first loss of the season, Munoz was proud of how her squad fought throughout the game, with games like these only helping the team throughout the rest of the season.

“This is exactly why I made the schedule so hard,” Munoz said. “I want them to use these games to learn and improve so by the end of the season we are playing our best lacrosse. There are so many more games left and I am so proud of the effort every single player left on the field.”

Santa Margarita Catholic will return home Thursday to take on St. Margarets, who is ranked No.1 in the latest OC coaches poll. Westlake hosts West Ranch on Wednesday, who is ranked fifth in the latest Los Angeles poll.

 

 

Brandon Ross
Brandon Ross is a Digital Reporter/Editor for Maxlaxoc.com, entering his third year with the company. His experience in Sports Journalism began in 2014 where he served as a staff writer for Orange Coast College's Coast Report, mostly covering Sports. In the Spring of 2016, he moved onto The Daily Titan as an assistant sports editor, covering Division One College Basketball, Baseball, and Softball. He also served as The Daily Titan's "second in command" as the paper's Managing Editor, covering a variety of school and local news as well as help guide a young staff in an election season. During his spare time, he loves to travel and spend time with loved ones. For tips, please email Brandon at brandonkross92@gmail.com