The number five ranked San Clemente High School Girls’ Lacrosse team fell to fourth ranked St. Margaret’s on Thursday, May 4th in a hard fought defensive battle plagued by shooting space calls.
The Tartans wasted no time and scored on a free position shot due to a shooting space penalty thirty seconds after the start. Just over a minute later Tritons sophomore Delainey Iles did the same. Five minutes into the game Triton goalie senior Veronica Petrikas made a save, but the Tartans regained the ball in the transition only to be intercepted by Triton senior defender Carly Peck. The Tritons stormed down the field but were denied by the Tartan goalie. Six minutes into the half the Tartans called a timeout to regroup, which paid off in a four-goal run.
Iles struck again at minute 13 to stop the Triton slide, and on the next draw San Clemente maintained control for a fast break score by freshman Maddie Buckley off an assist by her sister Kylie Buckley. The Tartans did not remain idle and scored on a low sidearm shot. The next eight minutes were a vicious defensive battle, where both teams mounted multiple attacks but were unable to score. The Tartans got a free position goal with two minutes left, and the halftime score was St. Margaret’s 7- San Clemente 3.
The Tritons roared out of halftime with an immediate draw control and fast break goal by sophomore Tess Jonas nailing the top right corner of the cage. Two minutes later junior Shay Hefft stayed patient on a roll attempt, switching left handed to get the Tritons within two. Both teams fought for two minutes but the Tartans struck back at minutes 20 and 18. The Tartan offensive was very fast and aggressive, and at 16:35 Triton goalie Petrikas left the cage to stuff a fast break quick stick. The Tartans continued to bait the Triton defense, resulting in shooting space penalties. In two minutes the Tartans got two more goals, and at 15:19 left were up 11-6, forcing San Clemente to call a timeout a minute later.
At eleven minutes St. Margaret’s got a yellow card, and in a minute Triton K. Buckley capitalized on a free position. St. Margaret’s regained possession and began to slow their offense down, and the Tritons responded with pressure. The Tartans took a second timeout at 8:48 to make adjustments and scored in 13 seconds. Triton junior Jessica De Collibus scored a minute later, the teams traded goals at minutes five and two, but the Tritons could not get the ball from the Tartan’s possession offense. The Tritons suffered from low draw control and inaccurate passes and shots, and the Tartans’ benefitted from its aggressive defense, unfooled goalie and smart offense. Final score St. Margaret’s 15- San Clemente 9.
The Tritons end with their best season record at 15-4, and will only lose six players to graduation, priming them for another strong run next year.
Triton scoring leaders: K. Buckley (3), Iles (2), Hefft (1), De Collibus (1), Jonas (1), M. Buckley (1).
Ground balls: De Collibus (4).
Saves: Petrikas (5).