St. Margaret's players celebrate their victory over Corona del Mar in the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division finals match on Wednesday at Mission Viejo.

St. Margaret's erupts, captures South title


MISSION VIEJO – A minute and nine seconds; it may not seem like a large amount of time, but on Wednesday at Mission Viejo High it made all the difference.

Trailing by a goal, St. Margaret's scored four goals in a 69-second span to surge its way to a lead and a 12-7 victory against Corona del Mar in the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division finals.

"It's gratifying," Tartans coach Glen Miles said. "I'm very happy for the boys. They worked really hard for this.

"They weren't too sure at the beginning of the season at 2-4, but we kept telling them they were pretty good and they just needed to hang in there, and they did that. We're proud of them."

With the triumph, St. Margaret's advances to the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section Finals to take on Harvard-Westlake of North Hollywood at 1 p.m. on Saturday at West Torrance High.

The teams traded goals for much of the first half, with the Sea Kings (18-3) taking a 3-2 lead with 4:36 remaining on a Chris Von Der Ahe goal.

When the Tartans (20-4) ended the season on a 14-game winning streak (now 18), Miles made note of how the arrival of Ryan Harnisch changed the outlook of the team by giving them somebody to dominate face-offs.

Harnisch's play was key in St. Margaret's second-quarter run. Harnisch controlled faceoff after faceoff and scored a goal to get the offensive avalanche rolling.

"We just controlled the ball and settled things down," Harnisch said. "We let the offense do their work."

It was more of the same in the third quarter as Chase Williams (four goals) scored his third goal of the game less than four minutes in to push the lead to four.

Josh Davis followed with a score of his own to extend the lead to five, which is how it stayed for the majority of the game following that point.

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