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Varsity 8, Newport Harbor 5

March 11, 2015

After two dominating performances to open the season Trabuco Hills Girls Lacrosse approached their third game of the young season Tuesday night with a quiet confidence.  Everyone knew a challenging game lay ahead as their opponent, Newport Harbor, had put up a fierce battle three weeks earlier when clubs representing the two squads collided in pre-season tournament play in Santa Barbara. On this beautiful balmy March evening, the game lived up to expectations.

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Phillips (8) scored 5 vs. Newport

Both teams seemed content to let the game come to them, each setting up tentative offensive possessions only to be thwarted by impressive early saves by each goalkeeper.  The Mustangs finally drew first blood when, after 5 minutes of play, Jenelle Phillips beat the Sailor goalie for two quick scores.  The game then resumed its slower place before Phillips struck again.  This was followed by a very methodical offensive set that culminated in Becca Haggard finding Marina Sandoval with a slick pass right in the slot for a 4-0 Trabuco Hills lead.

After over 13 minutes of frustration, Newport Harbor finally got on the board after keeper Erin Beall had made several more impressive stops.  Phillips promptly responded with another tally of her own, followed by a stellar individual effort by Audie Shutler in which she was able to weave between several defenders for a high-quality shot and score.

Both goalies were playing exceptionally well, keeping the score well within reason given the frequent offensive chances on each end of the field.  The Sailors stepped up their defensive play with swarming coverage of the Mustang offense, finally resulting in a late turnover that lead directly to a goal to bring Newport Harbor to within 4 as the horn sounded for half-time.  The 6-2 lead felt far from comfortable for the Mustangs.

The second half opened with Trabuco Hills again slowing down the pace, content to move the ball around the zone without attempting to create any real scoring opportunities.  With little movement away from the ball, this ultimately lead to yet another turnover, which Newport Harbor took full advantage of, shrinking their deficit to 3.  The Mustangs finally responded with a beautiful run by Phillips from the restraining line that split the defense and resulted in her fifth goal of the contest.  Kendall Derbyshire followed that up with a great hustle move and shot to push the lead back to 5.

Following a time-out, Newport Harbor was able to control the draw and move the ball very efficiently to net their fourth goal of the game.  Playing with desperation as time ticked away, the Sailors again pressed hard for possession and managed a fifth goal late.  Time and score were on the side of Trabuco Hills, however, and the Mustangs held on for a convincing and satisfying 8-5 victory.

In addition to the stellar play of Mustang Goalie Beall, it was a great team effort, with Phillips, Shutler, and Derbyshire providing outstanding play up and down the field throughout the contest.

Record: 3-0
Next: Thursday at Los Alamitos

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