The St.Margaret’s girls lacrosse team defeated Redondo Union 17-6 on Saturday at Newport Harbor High School to win the program’s first U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section championship since 2008. Coach Holly Reilly attributed the championship to a combination of character, hard work and talent.
“In years past, we haven’t had the skill to back up the confidence, and now these girls work, train and execute on the field,” Reilly said.
The Sea Hawks were making their fifth appearance in the Section championship game, and after marching through the regular season with an 18-2 record and the most prolific offense in the Section, they had hopes of becoming the first Los Angeles team to win the crown. And in the early parts of the game it looked like they might have a shot.
After the Tartans scored the first goal, the Sea Hawks answered back with a transition goal to tie the game at 1-1, which is where the score stood until about 10 minutes into the first half. But then the Tartans went on a 9-3 run to take a 10-4 lead into halftime that was never challenged.
“To be honest, I would say we started lazy,” Reilly said. “That was disappointing. We really turned it around, and one of our seniors said, ‘Listen, where’s our positive energy? Where’s our spirit? We’re lacking that right now,’ and that’s what it was.”
The second half saw the Tartans continue to flex their muscles, holding the Sea Hawks scoreless for almost the first 12 minutes of the half to keep the game out of reach.
“It just goes to show how far our school has come athletically,” Cailin Young said. “My freshman year, we barely made it to the quarterfinals, and now we’re winning it all. That just goes to show how much growth we’ve had in the past three years.”
The Tartans were led by Maddie Barkate, who scored five goals, while Niki Miles and Young each scored four. Campbell Case notched a hat trick for the Tartans, while Ellie Jones, who was named MVP of the tournament, made four saves.
“I just went out there and played my best game and leave it all out there,” Jones said, adding that she wasn’t expecting to be named MVP.
The Sea Hawks were led by Marianna Gamet, who had three goals, while Addison Bass had two. Brooke Tokushige also scored for Redondo, which got seven saves from Eva Lovell.