The St. Margaret’s Tartans hardly ever have been a team to be taken lightly. Under the tutelage of head coach Glen Miles, the 2013 and 2015 U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section champions have established themselves as a title contender year in and year out.
Last season, the team was considered to have one of the toughest schedules in Southern California. The Tartans went 11-9 overall, but the losses were to the likes of Southern Section champion Loyola, Orange County champion Foothill, OC finalist Corona del Mar (twice), San Diego Section semifinalists Poway and Torrey Pines and Central Coast Section champion St. Ignatius (San Francisco).
The second loss to Corona del Mar came ended the Tartans’ season in the Orange County semifinals, but most of the team’s marquee players return this spring for another shot at the Southern Section title.
Junior midfielder Kevin Groeninger, who tallied 55 goals and 54 assists in his sophomore season, will lead the charge for the Tartans. The Bryant University commit received his fair share of accolades last year, including US Lacrosse All-American and first-team All-County.
Complementing Groeninger in the offense is Garrett Kunts, who is poised to have another brilliant season after recording 40 goals and 15 assists in 2017. Together with Groeninger, the 5-foot-11 attackman is set to wreak havoc on opposing defenses with his size and speed.
Face-off middie Stuart Pollard also should be someone to look out for as the junior won 60 percent of his face-offs last season and picked up of 90 ground balls. The All-County honorable mention also scored three goals and had three assists.
The Tartans also are hoping for a breakout season from LSM Duke Ballard, who made the third-team last season and may climb the ranks in 2018. His numbers (2g, 3a, 40 ground balls) during his sophomore campaign were enough to turn some heads and are only set to make a big leap this year.
St. Margaret’s schedule once again is flooded with difficult matchups, including meetings with Servite, Corona del Mar, Santa Margarita, Poway and Foothill. The Tartans open at Temecula Great Oak on March 6.