Torrey Pines, the No. 2 team in the West, returned home to San Diego on Thursday night with a decisive 18-8 victory over West No. 5 St. Margaret’s.

The Falcons (13-2) are ranked No. 18 nationally and have lost only to West No. 1 and National No. 17 St. Ignatius and National No. 15 IMG Academy of Florida. 

Thursday, Torrey Pines had the win over St. Margaret’s (10-2) all but locked up by halftime with a 13-4 lead. The Falcons riddled the Tartans with their depth, putting nine different players in the scoring column against a Tartans squad that was allowing only eight goals per game.

“We just want to keep getting better every game,” TP coach Jono Zissi said. “There’s been years where we’ve sort of peaked early, so to speak, and we just weren’t getting better. I feel like we’re still getting better.”

Before the game, Tartans midfielder Koa Todd was selected to play in the Adrenaline All-American game. Todd led SMES offensively Thursday with four goals.

Adrenaline All-American Koa Todd led the Tartans with four goals Thursday. (Photo: Brandon Ross)

“He’s very deserving,” Tartans coach Glen Miles said. “He’s been a beast. This is the first year he’s been healthy for the whole year, so he deserves that honor.”

The Falcons stepped on the Tartans’ throats early, scoring seven goals in the first quarter. Miles Botkiss (4g, 3a), Dewey Egan (2g, 1a) and Alex Pistorius (2g, 1a) led the charge early for TP.

“It’s easy to play defense when you’re up by so much,” Zissi said. “When we’re playing with a lead, we have so much confidence that it’s easy to play defense, to be honest. To be fair, our offense helped our defense.”

St. Margaret’s (10-2) got going a little on offense in the second period, with two goals from Todd and one from Cooper Barkate (2g). However, the Falcons’ potent offense continued to thrive and took a commanding, 13-4 lead at the half.

“We have a lot of good players, and depending on how teams are sliding and where the matchups are, everyone is stepping up,” Zissi said. “A lot of guys scored a point.”

Porter Hollen (1g, 3a), Christian Rasmussen (3g) and Blake Erlbeck (3g) led the Falcons balanced scoring attack in the second quarter, with Rasmussen scoring all three of his goals in the frame.

“[Torrey Pines] is very good and very fast,” Miles said. “We pushed their defense to compete a little bit, but they were faster.”

The Tartans arguably played their best quarter in the third as their defense matched up with their offense, and as a result both teams scored three goals. Stephen Deck (2g) scored for SMES, and FOGO Teagan Bultman (1g) added one off a face-off win for TP.

The face-off X proved an even match between Torrey Pines and St. Margaret’s on Thursday. (Photo: Brandon Ross)

The combination of Bultman and Mason Kohn (1g) at the ‘X’ provided Torrey Pines with a slight advantage. The duo won 15 of 28 face-offs against Stuart Pollard of St. Margaret’s.

“Their guys tag teamed [Pollard], with Stuart taking all of ours (at the faceoff),” Miles said. “He fought and competed the entire time, so I’m proud of him.”

Stephan Lauter had 15 saves for the Falcons to help thwart the Tartans.

“He makes some of the most acrobatic saves of all-time,” Zissi said. “Aside from [Todd], he was on everyone’s shots.”

Torrey Pines heads to Poway on Tuesday, while St. Margaret’s faces another challenge Saturday with a road trip to the South Bay to face LA No. 1 and West No. 4 Palos Verdes (14-1).


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