NESCAC beware! St. Margaret’s senior attack Nick Shanks (pictured above), who will play for Tufts after graduation, was unstoppable on Tuesday. Shanks put up the first snowman of his career, scoring 8 of the 17 Tartan goals against Great Oak. St. Margaret’s led wire to wire in the 17-7 victory in the second round of the Orange County Invitational.
Still smarting from a season-opening loss to Loyola on Saturday, the defending Southern Section champs wasted no time in getting on the board. St. Margaret’s jumped out to a 4-1 first quarter lead. Great Oak showed signs of a comeback by scoring the first two goals of the second quarter, bringing the score to 5-3. The Tartans fought back, and answered with five consecutive goals to end the half at 10-3. The Tartans then outscored the Wolfpack 7-4 in the second half to reach final score of 17-7.
While Shanks was unstoppable at the offensive end, senior goalie Payton Fales proved to be quite “stoppable’ at the other end of the field. Fales stopped 22 of the 29 shots that Great Oak threw at him.
St. Margaret’s received contributions from all ranges of the age spectrum. Freshmen Koa Todd (3 goals), Kevin Groeninger (5 assists), and Stuart Pollard (16 of 23 on faceoffs) all played key roles in the win. Junior Jeremy Davis and senior Samuel Harnisch (Denver) both scored two goals. Sophomore Conrad Hampson and junior Garret Kuntz each put in one.
Both teams travel to Los Alamitos for neutral-site games in the third round of the OCI on Saturday. St. Margaret’s (1-1) meets Foothill (2-0) in a showdown between the No.4 and No. 5 teams in the West. Great Oak gets a shot at the same Loyola team that defeated St. Margaret’s on Saturday.