Los Alamitos girls pull together to beat CdM
The Los Alamitos girls lacrosse team faced a big obstacle early in Thursday’s U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section South Division second-round game against Corona del Mar.
Senior leader and returning first-team All-County player Dominique Loney was forced out of the game because of a knee injury, forcing the Griffins to adjust and regroup on the fly.
“We have really good team chemistry,” junior midfielder Sophia Schade said. “When she was out, we had to come together and do this for her because she’s a senior and we didn’t want this to be her last game.”
Schade and Natalie Martinez both scored five goals and the third-seeded Griffins received some timely late saves from goalkeeper Campbell Poe to hold off visiting Corona del Mar, 11-9.
PLAYOFFS: Thursday's scores, Saturday's schedule
Los Alamitos, which has won six consecutive Southern Section and county titles, will face second-seeded Foothill in the semifinals Saturday at 2 p.m. at Mission Viejo High.
“Dom’s is one of our senior captains, a huge leader on the field and she’s a lefty, so she’s really hard to replace,” Los Alamitos coach Emily Mukai said. “She’s one of those players that a lot of our plays are based around.
“It was just a matter of them, wiggling into their spots again and evening everything out. At first, that adrenaline of she’s down so we’re going to play hard for her and then it was like oh, what are we going to do now?”
When Loney went down the score was tied at 2-2. The Griffins then scored five consecutive goals and eventually took a 7-3 lead into halftime.
That momentum didn’t carry over to the second half as the Sea Kings quickly rattled the Griffins back to the reality.
Corona del Mar rallied with four consecutive goals to tie score at 7-7 with 16:58 remaining.
“They definitely had a second there were they were all trying to play as individuals instead of coming together as a group,” Mukai said. “Then they kind of figured it out.
Natalie Martinez and Schade scored two goals apiece to give the Griffins 11-7 lead with 3:51 left.
Mason Bendetti led Corona del Mar with four goals.
In another girls quarterfinal:
Mater Dei 20, Trabuco Hills 7: Lauren Gonzales led the host and top-seeded Monarchs with six goals. Grace Houser (four), Danelle Lucero (three) and Mackenzie Wallevand (three) and Grace Emmel (two) all scored multiple goals for the Monarchs.
Mater Dei will face Beckman in a semifinal Saturday at noon at Mission Viejo. Beckman defeated Aliso Niguel, 10-5.
In the boys quarterfinals:
Corona del Mar 12, San Clemente 5: Sherwin Gersten and Max Kline scored three goals apiece to lead the second-seeded Sea Kings to the victory.
CdM will face third-seeded St. Margaret’s in the semifinals Saturday at 4:30 p.m. at Mission Viejo. In the other semifinal, top-seeded Foothill will meet fourth-seeded JSerra at 7 p.m.
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