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Defense gets Foothill boys into O.C. semifinals
After a frenetic pace in the first period, the U.S. Lacrosse Southern Section playoff game between third-seeded Foothill and seventh-seeded Trabuco Hills on Thursday settled into an intense, defensive battle.
There were just three goals scored in the second period and only one in the third, but it was a huge one for the Knights.
Kevin Kodzis scored with 25 seconds remaining in the third, and the Foothill defense took over from there for a 9-7 victory over the Mustangs at Tustin High.
Foothill advances to the county semifinals to face St. Margaret’s on Saturday at approximately 7:15 p.m. at Irvine High.
“That was probably a turning point,” Kodzis said of his goal. “They were hoping to get a run, but I was doing the best to stop their thought that they would have a chance at this game.”
Kodzis’ goal gave the Knights a 7-4 lead going into the fourth. He added another one early in the fourth and Steven Oberly scored two minutes later for a 9-4 lead.
Foothill’s defense allowed three goals in the first period, one in the second and none in the third.
“The defense had a long stretch there (of limiting Trabuco Hills goals),” Foothill coach Jon Fox said. “I”m so proud of (goalie) Ryan Blank, guiding the defense and making things happen.”
Blank and Austin Mann combined to record nine saves.
“I don’t think there were any surprises on either side of the ball,” Fox said. “It just came down to hustle, making plays. Both teams were hustling and we made a few more plays.
“Trabuco (Hills) is a great squad and they never quit.”
In another boys game:
Corona del Mar 14, Tesoro 7: The top-seeded Sea Kings had five players score two goals, including face-off specialist Jason Simaan, who also won 13 of 15 face-offs.
CdM will face Santa Margarita on Saturday at approximately 4:15 p.m. at Irvine.
In the girls playoffs:
Mater Dei 19, Beckman 9: The top-seeded Monarchs earned a return trip to the county semifinals as Mackenzie Wallevand scored nine goals.
In Saturday’s semifinal, Mater Dei will face fourth-seeded Corona del Mar, which defeated Tesoro, 17-9.
Newport Harbor 13, St. Margaret’s 12 (OT): The 10th-seeded Sailors pulled off another upset, taking down the second-seeded Tartans in overtime on a goal by Adena Rothbard. Rothbard had six goals. The Sailors will face Foothill in Saturday’s semifinal.
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