The Holly Reilly era has been a productive one for the St. Margaret’s girls’ lacrosse program. In the two years prior to Reilly’s arrival, the Tartans won a total of 12 games. Since Reilly took over in 2014, the Tartans have averaged 13 wins per season, never falling below 11 wins in a season.
What has eluded the Reilly and the Tartans though, is a fourth game in May – the County championship game. In 2016, the Tartans bowed out after a heartbreaking 12-11 2OT loss to Newport Harbor. Last year, they came within a goal of doing what no OC team has done since 2015, defeating Mater Dei. But the Monarchs were on the better end of the 8-7 semi-finals score, and once again the Tartans took an earlier vacation than they wanted.
A somewhat young team last year with only three seniors on the roster, the Tartans have now evolved into an experienced team with upperclass leadership to spare. With all this experience, the Tartans may be poised to break the curse of the Cicco, and bring home a championship for the first time since current Tesoro coach Lauren Ciccomascolo was storming up and down the field in Tartan red and blue.
It’s never easy to replace the leadership and 107 points that Cameron Manor, now at Army provided, but fret not for St. Margaret’s. They may have the goods to top last year’s 16 goals per game average.
Returning to the fold this year are top scorer Niki Miles (112 points), junior Maddie Barkate (85 points), senior Caiin Young (81 points), and sophomore Campbell Case (65 points).
And if those four are not enough, freshman midfielder Jordan Miles and junior attack Megan Vandenburg are two All-County Watch List candidates who are capable of finding the back of the net with some regularity.
Senior defender Emily Suh, another Watch List candidate, is expected to be a leader on the defensive end of the fielder. Also returning is junior Ashlee Caruana who was among the team leaders in interceptions (6), takeaways (24), and groundballs (31).
The Tartans will was no time getting ready for the intensity of post-season play – their first six games are against Top 10 teams. It all begins on March 6 when the Tartans host Newport Harbor.