Beckman upsets top-seeded Mater Dei in semifinals


MISSION VIEJO – There were moments in the first half when the Beckman girls lacrosse team appeared down and almost out, but looks proved to be deceiving.

Beckman, the fourth seed in the U.S. Lacrosse Orange County Championships, trailed top-seeded Mater Dei by four goals on three separate occasions in the first half.

Then in the second half, the Patriots rallied to upset the Monarchs, 15-14, in the first semifinal Saturday at Mission Viejo High.

Beckman will face second-seeded Foothill in the final of the Orange County Championships on Wednesday at 5:30 p.m. at Tustin High.

“We just believed in ourselves,” Beckman coach Kelly Baker said. “Even though we were a fourth seed, they’ve had their backs against the wall like this before and it is because they believe in themselves.

“We had to fight through. We found that spark and we ran with it and ignited each other out there.”

That was evident in the second half. Beckman opened the second half scoring four consecutive goals to tie Mater Dei at 10. The Patriots then took advantage of a two-minute penalty to take a 14-11 lead, only to have Mater Dei rally to tie at 14 on goals from Danielle Lucero, Grace Houser and Mackenzie Wallevand.

With 1:06 left, Shea O’Donnell afforded the Patriots a bit of comfort when she scored what proved to be the winning goal.

“We knew it wasn’t going to happen all at once,” Baker said. “Little by little we dug ourselves out of that hole and fought through. It wasn’t going to happen all at once. We knew it wasn’t going to be perfect on either end.

“We wanted to clean our mistakes from the first half because Mater Dei definitely capitalized on our mistakes.”

It was Kylie Filipek’s goal with 12:09 left in the game that gave the Patriots their first lead.

Filipek, Lauren Nguyen and Janice Shih all scored three goals apiece for the Patriots. Holly Woodward and O’Donnell added two apiece.

“We had to be patient out there and look for the good ones because we had some good connections out there, and that’s what we did in the second half,” Baker said.

Houser scored seven goals for the Monarchs, with five coming in the first half. Wallevand and Madeline Hooks had three and two, respectively.

In the other semifinal:

Foothill 15, Los Alamitos 7: Meridian Lee scored four goals and Julia Taylor added three to lead the Knights.

Foothill’s victory guarantees that there will be a new O.C. champion. Los Alamitos had won six consecutive titles entering the season.

Sophia Schade scored four goals for the Griffins.

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