Friday evening was a tough night for the home team, as the visiting Eagles of Santa Margarita jumped all over Tesoro early and never looked back.
By the time the game was six minutes old, the Eagles had jumped out to a 4-0 lead with Katelyn Murphy opening the game with a natural hat trick, and Caylee Harrison scoring the fourth.
From here, Tesoro goalie Leah Olson came up with a series of big saves on tough shots from close attackers to keep her team within striking distance. But despite earning a few nice scoring opportunities, the home team was unable to convert, as Santa Margarita goalie Victoria Hoffman stood like a wall to stop a few of her own.
Tesoro would find goals hard to come by all evening. In addition to facing a strong Hoffman, the Titans were up against solid team-D and aggressive defensive pressure from Murphy and Harrison—who brought their A-games to all phases of the contest.
Lily Matteson put in the Eagles fifth straight off a transition feed from Maddie Bush, and Harrison buried a scorching lefty free position for the sixth unanswered goal. But the Titans turned it around for the remainder of the half, playing SMCHS to a 1-1 tie through the final 8:32.
With about four minutes to go before the break, Tesoro’s Brynne Peak was able to break the seal for the home team with a beautiful free position shot from the center hash. Santa Margarita answered with less than a second left on the clock: After a strong series of defensive stops from Tesoro, Murphy drove opportunistically in an unsettled play and fired a strong, low shot to the corner of the cage to give her team the 7-1 halftime lead.
Not a whole lot changed in the second half, as Tesoro was unable to build any momentum or string together a streak of goals to get back into the game.
Sidney Ruiz opened the scoring for the Eagles in the second half, as she pocketed a nice free position shot. And immediately following this, Murphy snagged the one-hand stretch on the self-draw, pushed the transition, and found Ruiz, who finished the play perfectly to give the visiting team a 9-1 advantage. Minutes later Bush got in on the action, driving east-to-to west, dodging through the slide, and ripping a wicked shot to get Santa Margarita into double digits.
With twenty minutes remaining, the Eagles slowed the game down as the Titans pressed hard, seeking a sign of offensive life against the continuing defensive aggression. Tesoro’s freshman standout, Paris Melberg, found glory on a gutsy drive and a great shot through the crashing Eagle defense for her team’s second of the night.
But that would be the last of Tesoro’s goals. To round out the scoring for the Eagles, Bush netted a nice draw and dump from Sarah Keehn around the goal circle, Ruiz rolled the crease for her third of the half, and Keehn scored the last of the game as she cut from behind to receive and finish a free position pass from Ruiz.