Mater Dei attack too much for No. 3 Santa Margarita


SANTA ANA – Santa Margarita girls soccer coach Chuck Morales recently said playing games at Mater Dei is akin to entering the lion’s den.

Almost immediately Tuesday, the Eagles were under siege.

Hailey Hopkins scored twice, and the fifth-ranked Monarchs defeated No. 3 Santa Margarita, 3-0, in a Trinity League game at Mater Dei.

Both of Hopkins’ goals came off of set pieces. She opened the scoring in the 10th minute with a back-post header off a corner kick from Amanda Oldham. The junior forward struck again on a free kick from Jessica Harloe in the 55th minute.

“I could not have had any of the opportunities that I had without my teammates playing me those balls,” Hopkins said. “They worked really hard to get to those balls and sacrificed themselves.”

Although the Monarchs (11-2-3, 2-0-0) registered just three shots on goal in the first half, they held the aggressive posture. Delaney Kitching and Olivia Ware joined Hopkins up top, creating chances up the middle.

Hopkins got behind Eagles goalkeeper Christina Kosmala in the 9th minute. Gwyneth George made a nice tackle for Santa Margarita (11-5-0, 1-1-0), but the conceded corner resulted in Hopkins’ first goal.

Mater Dei led, 1-0, at the half, and with its offense executing at a high level, the Monarchs soon doubled their advantage. Cassie Soto got a shot off on the rush, and Kitching scored on the rebound to make it 2-0 in the 41st minute.

“I thought our attack was really intense this afternoon,” Monarchs coach Matty West said. “Our forwards were really hungry. That led to a lot of opportunities, and we were able to convert.”

Madison Puliafico had eight saves for Mater Dei.

The Monarchs travel to Orange Lutheran, while Santa Margarita hosts Rosary on Thursday.

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