Los Alamitos spoils the day for No. 1 Santa Margarita
LOS ALAMITOS – Santa Margarita’s girls soccer team moved up to No. 1 in the county top 10 on Monday, but it didn't get much time to enjoy it.
Randi Geffrey and Mo Ponce scored for Los Alamitos, which defeated the Eagles, 2-0, in a nonleague game at Los Alamitos High.
Griffins coach Mossy Kennedy said his team had to respect the possession game of Santa Margarita (9-2-0). That’s how things started, with nearly the entirety of the first 10 minutes being played in Los Alamitos territory.
But in the 14th minute, a counter-attack sequence changed the complexion of the game. Amanda Jones stole the ball at midfield and fed a pass through to Ally La Carra-Platt, who drew a 30-yard free kick.
The ninth-ranked Griffins (8-1-2) took advantage of the set piece. Geffrey decided to attack the goal, firing a shot over the wall and beyond the outstretched hands of Eagles goalkeeper Christina Kosmala.
“We were very fortunate on the free kick,” Kennedy said. “It was the goal that did change things.”
With the lead, Los Alamitos’ midfield settled into the game. Their passing was crisper, as the Griffins consistently out-touched the Eagles.
Conversely, possession-oriented Santa Margarita appeared rushed, resorting to stretch passes that yielded few secondary scoring chances. The Eagles sent 12 shots toward the net in the second half, but only four made it to the target.
“We were defending them pretty high,” Bryn Chesser said. “We were doing high pressure in the second half. It made them panic, and it messed up their passes.”
Dani Spensiero and Machaela George were the most dangerous players for the Eagles. Los Alamitos had Spensiero marked whenever she entered the box. Chesser and Leila Hijazi blocked shot attempts by the Eagles sophomore forward.
Ponce doubled the lead on a steal and assist by La Carra-Platt in the 55th minute.
For Los Alamitos, Hannah Foley had one save in the first half, and Taylor Vanis made four in the second half.
Kosmala totaled six stops for Santa Margarita.