Matchup: No. 5 Santa Margarita Eagles at No. 4 St. Margarets Tartans 7 p.m.
Santa Margarita: First (Trinity League).
St. Margarets: Independent.
Previous Meeting: In what could have been Orange County’s best played game of the regular season, the Tartans defeated the Eagles in a classic 10-9 4OT thriller at home on Mar. 21, 2017.
How Santa Margarita Got Here: The Eagles avoided the upset and defeated No. 12 Beckman 9-7 at home on Tuesday.
How St. Margarets Got Here: The Tartans had no trouble in the first round, defeating No. 13 Trabuco Hills 11-3 at home on Tuesday.
Players to Watch for Santa Margarita:
Jack Fisher (Attack), Quentin Buchman (Midfield), Michael Walsh (Midfield), Matt Ury (Defense) and Chad Cobb (Goalie). Look out for Nicholas Parrino, who is an X factor for the Eagles on offense.
Players to Watch for St. Margarets:
Kevin Groeninger, Garrett Kuntz, Koa Todd, Andrew Shin and Jeremy Davis.
For the people that attended the classic regular season battle between these two teams in March: you got your wish, there’s a rematch! Good coaching staffs, similar styles of play offensively and defensively, this will be fun!
Santa Margarita will get a chance at redemption tonight and it won’t be pulled off if they commit as many penalties as they did against Beckman in the first round. Having said all of that, look for the middie duo of Buchman and Michael Walsh to get on the board in this one. Chase Lynch (an Adrenaline All-American) is one of the best in the county at the dot and his offense will need him to get them the ball as much as possible.
Defensively, Ury and Mack are fierce competitors who set the tone in the back end for the Eagles. Unlike the last time these two played, Santa Margarita needs to hold a lead when they get it, as they were up by as many as three on St. Margarets early in that game. Consistent ball control will be key for them.
St. Margarets barely finished over .500 in the regular season, but you’d have to take that with a grain of salt due to them having one of the toughest schedules in all of Southern California this season. Groeninger usually sets the tone for the Tartans on offense, so look for him to be a factor in this one. They have to sense that Santa Margarita chomping at the bit to earn the first win in program history over the Tartans. so the key for the Tartans will be to get on the board early and stay there.
If last time these two played was any indication, this should be a great game!