Costa Mesa – Behind nine big saves from sophomore goalie Jade Rettig, the no. 7 Newport Harbor girls lacrosse team upset No. 3 St. Margaret’s 14-12 at Estancia High School.
“We played really hard. We went down early, but we kept our composure, we fought hard and controlled the pace of the game,” Newport Harbor coach Matt Armstrong said.
This was the second year in a row that the Sailors have upset a higher-ranked St. Margaret’s team. The other game came in last year’s CIF quarterfinals when the Sailors edged the Tartans 13-12 in double-overtime.
This time around, overtime wasn’t needed and the Sailors won by a near-identical score. Rettig said that teamwork, communication and staying positive were keys to beating St. Margaret’s, and that this was the biggest win of the year so far for the Sailors.
“I think the whole team was slightly cold,” Armstrong said about Newport Harbor in the beginning of the game. “We lost the first three draw [controls], we gave up a few goals. The whole team wasn’t there in the beginning.”
After the Sailors had tied the game at 3-3 in the first half, the Tartans scored the next four goals to take a 7-3 lead, forcing Armstrong to take a time out. The Sailors cut into the Tartans’ lead, but found themselves down 8-7.
Each time the Sailors tied the game, the Tartans had an answer. The Tartans were led by Cameron Manor who had five goals. Niki Miles had four goals and Cailin Young chipped in with three goals.
The Sailors caught the Tartans at 10-10 and thought they had taken their first lead of the game on a goal from Heather Roberts, but a crease violation waved off the goal. The Tartans took advantage and once again broke the tie to gain an 11-10 lead. That would be their final lead of the game.
The Sailors tied the game at 11-11 and took the lead for the first at the 6:28 mark. Newport Harbor held the lead for the rest of the game.
“Our defense is rock-solid. Once we started getting possession of the ball, we get rolling,” Newport Harbor co-captain Katie Hendrix said.
Hendrix, Roberts, Sarah Farley, and Laura Tran led the Sailors with three goals each. Adena Rothbard and Delaney Knipp each had one goal for the Sailors. Armstrong said that Roberts came out on fire and had her best game of the season.
The Sailors (6-3) may need some of that fire, as they play No.4 Corona Del Mar (3-2) in the annual Battle of the Bay game on Friday at Peninsula Park at 5 p.m. St. Margaret’s (2-2) hosts Mission Viejo (3-2) on Thursday.