San Juan Capistrano – The No. 3 St.Margaret’s girls’ lacrosse team kicked off its season in dominant fashion, beating No.6 Newport Harbor 17-5 at St.Margaret’s Episcopal School.
Tuesday’s game was a renewal of a rivalry that has developed over the last two years, with the Sailors getting the better of the Tartans in two tight matchups. Last season, the Tartans lost at Estancia High School 14-12 in a regular season game and the year before, they lost 13-12 in double overtime in the playoffs at home. This time the Tartans weren’t on the losing end, as senior Cailin Young led the way with five goals.
“Our focus is challenging ourselves to have an urgent fast-paced game and that is what we brought today. We were definitely out for some revenge I would say and the last two years have stung for sure. Newport Harbor has brought us a tough game,” St.Margaret’s coach Holly Reilly said.
The first half brought some good fortune for the Sailors. After Young scored the first goal of the game for the Tartans, the Sailors answered back with two goals of their own thanks to Joelle Rothbard and Adena Rothbard to give the Sailors a 2-1 lead.
That proved to be the Sailors’ last lead of the game, as the Tartans erased that deficit with three straight goals. Midway through the first half, the Sailors stopped St.Margaret’s scoring run with a goal from Mariana Miller to bring the deficit down to only 4-3.
Up by only one goal, the Tartans decided that they were not in any mood for losing yet another close on to the Sailors, and went on a scoring spree of 12 unanswered goals. The Sailors did not score again until the 8:16 mark of the second half, and by then, the Sailors trailed 16-4 with a running clock in effect.
“We’re really excited to defensively challenge our opponent to try and work through our defensive system and offensively move the ball,” Reilly said.
Reilly, in her fifth year at St.Margaret’s, has a team that may be ready to compete for the programs first Southern Section championship since 2008. However, a lot can happen between now and the middle of May, and Reilly wants to make sure her squad takes it one game at a time.
“So I think what’s held us back in year’s past is that we’ve looked at those teams [Mater Dei, Foothill, etc.] and we’ve failed to appreciate and respect the next game,” Reilly said.
In addition to Young’s five goals, Niki Miles and Maddie Barkate had four goals each while Jordan Miles had three goals. Ally Taylor also contributed a goal while Ellie Jones had five saves for the Tartans.
For Newport Harbor, the Rothbard girls led the Sailors with two goals apiece while Miller finished with one. Goalie Willa Rath made six saves, one of which came against Young in a one on nobody situation.
Up next for St.Margaret’s (1-0) a Friday showdown against Park City, UT at home at 4:30 p.m. For Newport Harbor (1-2), a home game against No.9 San Juan Hills at 5 p.m.
Fun fact: St.Margaret’s got its first win over Newport Harbor since the 2008 season. In addition, Tuesday’s win marked Reilly’s first win over Newport Harbor. Tuesday’s win for the Tartans also evened up the all-time series against Newport Harbor at 3-3.