Most Viewed Stories
Foothill survives battle with Newport Harbor
TUSTIN - Foothill’s boys lacrosse team moved on to the semifinals of the U.S. Lacrosse Division 1 South playoffs with a 6-4 victory over No. 12 seed Newport Harbor in a quarterfinal match-up Thursday afternoon at Foothill.
It was a battle until the end for the No. 4-seeded Knights, who are out to win their sixth consecutive county and Southern California titles.
Nate Marano broke a 4-4 deadlock when he scored with 8:28 left in the game to put the Knights ahead by one. Tanner Jones scored his second goal of the day with 43 seconds left to clinch it for the Knights.
Foothill (11-8) moves on to face top-seeded Corona del Mar in the semifinals Saturday at 5 p.m. at Aliso Niguel. Corona del Mar, which is out to win its first title, defeated Huntington Beach, 10-6, on Thursday.
“We knew Newport Harbor was playing really well,” Foothill coach Jon Fox said. “It was going to be a tough game. Coach (Mark) Todd is a really good coach and knows how to force you to your weaknesses, and we had to play out of a lot of weaknesses today. Our boys managed to overcome.”
Goalkeeper Teddy Ochiai led the Foothill defense with 14 saves.
“The defense and the goalie were outstanding,” Fox said. “Teddy was probably the difference in the game making the saves in the cage.”
Foothill led 4-2, at halftime, but Newport Harbor (10-9) battled back, outscoring the Knights, 2-0, in the third quarter on goals by Brandon Rausch and Ritter Hagadorn to tie it up going into the final quarter.
After Marano’s go-ahead goal, Newport Harbor had numerous chances to tie it, but the Foothill defense held on.
“I’m very proud of them,” Todd said. “Our seniors have gone through three new coaching staffs and they’ve bought in to what we were coaching them and it showed today, it translated on the field. They played very well.”
Newport Harbor, which knocked off the No. 5 seed St. Margaret’s, 8-7, on Tuesday, was hoping for another upset Thursday.
“As far as the brackets go, it would have been (an upset), but it would have been no surprise if we had won because I know what we’re coaching them, and I say that because I believe in my kids, not to take anything away from Foothill, because they are a wonderful and historic program,” Todd said. “But I know my kids and their heart and I knew they were going to do their very best.”
Hagadorn, a junior midfielder, led Newport Harbor with two goals. Goalkeeper Zac Vayda had 14 saves for the Sailors.