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Woodbridge 18, Varsity 15

March 18, 2015

Coming off of a bumpy stretch in their schedule, Trabuco Hills Girls Lacrosse Varsity looked to right the proverbial ship when they visited Tuesday the Warriors of Woodbridge High School in Irvine. The see-saw battle that took place on a somewhat blustery afternoon would be one to both remember and forget.

whs-logoThe contest opened with Woodbridge drawing first blood, first with a patient offensive set after the Mustangs misfired on a pass, and then again after a Trabuco Hills turnover at midfield. Becca Haggard got the Mustang offense going with a strong run down the field before finding Kendall Derbyshire with a clean pass; Derbyshire deftly switched hands as the defender closed in and beat the goalie to the far post. Early on, however, it was becoming apparent that passing and catching were going to be the theme of the day.

Following another turnover, the Warriors exploited defensive seams to make the score 3-1. After Trabuco Hills won their first draw of the match, Jenelle Phillips was then able to beat a 1-on-4 match-up for her 1st goal. On ensuing plays, the number of missed passes and lost ground balls mounted for the Mustangs, and Woodbridge notched 2 more tallies. Then, suddenly, the Mustangs started connecting passes, resulting in a nice run by Audie Shutler to set up a pass to Phillips for the score. Dropped balls gave Woodbridge the advantage again that turned into goal 6 for the Warriors.

After finally getting a turnover of their own, Trabuco Hills pushed down the field and Marina Sandoval closed the deficit back to 2. Immediately after, the Warriors quickly responded with 2 goals then another draw win brought another Woodbridge goal … then a 10th goal right before the halftime buzzer. The speed of this Warrior squad was proving to be quite a challenge, keeping the Mustangs on their heels for most of the half.

With a daunting 10-4 deficit to overcome, the Mustangs broke out of the gate in the 2nd half at a gallop. Taylor Fox found Haggard for a quick goal, then a determined Madison DuMond did a great job on a scramble to keep the ball alive and thread a perfect past in front of the crease to Sandoval, who beat the goalie easily. Derbyshire them lead the Mustangs on a fast break, ultimately hitting Phillips in stride for a deft shot from the top of the 12 meter arc. A dropped pass temporarily broke the momentum that Trabuco Hills was building as Woodbridge got on the scoreboard for the first time in the half, but then Phillips was able to find Sandoval in the slot on the next possession, with Sandoval making a spectacular catch in traffic before finishing with a nifty shot that eluded the Warrior keeper.

Woodbridge would strike again, but Derbyshire and Phillips would each answer with goals of their own. The next time down the field, a Woodbridge attacker found herself alone in front of the Mustang net, receiving a pass and converting it cleanly. Trabuco Hills would not quit, though. Phillips answered with her 5th goal of the contest, then Fox was able to knock down a clearing pass from the Warrior keeper back into the net and it was a 1-goal game. On their next possession, Woodbridge had a great opportunity but the shot clanged off of the crossbar and rolled all the way to the restraining line, where Phillips picked it up and eventually found Derbyshire for the tying marker. 13-13, a new game!

The inspiration that pushed Trabuco Hills back into the game seemed to leave quickly resulting in 5 unanswered goals from Woodbridge. Sandoval was able to score 2 more late but the Mustangs would get no closer. With Woodbridge winning 56% of the draws, combined with 17 turnovers and 29 fouls committed by the Mustangs, it was too much to fully overcome in an 18-15 loss.

A great comeback showed the resiliency of this Trabuco Hills squad and is something to build on.

Record: 3-4

Next: Host Laguna Hills, Tuesday night.

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