SANTA MARGARITA- No. 5 Santa Margarita avoided an upset with a tight 9-7 win over No. 12 Beckman in the first round of the playoffs on Tuesday. The Eagles will move onto the second round and face their old nemesis St. Margarets in the next round, while the Patriots’ season has ended.
“The score was pretty close, but if we just stay out of that box and limit a couple of turnovers it’s a totally different ballgame,” said Santa Margarita head coach Adam Guy. “It’s playoffs, we knew every game is going to be tough. We knew every team is going to play as hard as they can. We knew this team was going to be pretty good. [Beckman] is pretty athletic, so hats off to them.”
The Eagles got off to a hot 4-0 start in the first, but Beckman’s two late quarter goals cut Santa Margarita’s lead to two after one frame. Michael Walsh and Nicholas Parrino had a goal apiece in the second quarter, which gave the Eagles a 6-2 lead at halftime.
After an early third quarter goal by the Patriots, Jack Fisher stretched the Eagles lead to four goals. Then Parrino (2g, 1a), the Eagles secret weapon, scored what turned out to be the game winner, putting the Eagles up 8-3. However, Beckman responded with two of their own to bring them within three. Jack Allender’s fourth quarter insurance goal was critical for Santa Margarita, helping the Eagles hold off Beckman’s late surge to win the game 9-7.
“Beckman is a good team and I kind of knew it would be tough,” Guy said. “They have pieces on their team that give our team trouble, and I kind of knew that going into it. I think personally we kept them in it with some penalties… glad we’re moving on.”
The Eagles were led offensively by Fisher’s four-point attack (3G, 1A). Parrino (2G, 1A), Walsh (1G, 1A), Allender (1G) and Tyler Wrightson (1G) rounded out Santa Margarita offensively.
Defensively, Matt Ury led the way with four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Sean Mack led the team with four ground balls and Walsh had three caused turnovers as well. Chase Lynch on 13 of 19 faceoffs and Chad Cobb had four saves between the pipes.
Cheng led the aggressive Patriots defense with five groundballs and four caused turnovers. Alex Gillman (1gb, 2 CTO), Zack Heller (1gb, 3 CTO), Brandon Chung (1 CTO), and Josh Carter (1 CTO) also stood out on D. Tyler Schweikert had 9 saves and 2 groundballs in his final performance as a Patriot.
Thursday’s game between No. 5 Santa Margarita and No. 4 St. Margarets will begin at 7 p.m. in San Juan Capistrano. The last time these two teams met resulted in a 10-9, 4OT thriller won by the Tartans.tret