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Varsity 15, Tesoro 10

April 3, 2015

Coming off of what was arguably their most satisfying win of the season on Tuesday vs. Capo Valley, Trabuco Hills Girls Lacrosse Varsity boarded the bus to travel to the land of the giants to take on the Tesoro Titans in a South Coast League matchup on Thursday night.

tesoroAs the late afternoon sun illuminated a serene setting amongst the hills, there was an anticipation to see how the team would follow up such an emotional victory just two days earlier. After a stirring rendition of our National Anthem, the Mustangs took the field with a quiet confidence that would soon be put to the test.

Upon winning the opening draw, Tesoro controlled the ball with great effectiveness, keeping it safely away from all defenders and moving freely around the Trabuco Hills zone. After a diligent 90 second set, the offense picked up the pace and netted their first goal. Following the next draw, both teams caught the turnover bug, before Kendall Derbyshire eventually got ahold of the bouncing ball and executed a high-speed crease roll to tie the score at 1-1.

Tesoro regained the lead after being awarded a free position, then capitalized again after a Mustang turnover gave them the advantage and they passed into the crease for an easy shot. Controlling the next draw, the Mustangs got the ball to Jenelle Phillips, who whistled a pass to Marina Sandoval for a quick shot and score. A free position on their next possession allowed Phillips to beat the Titans keeper cleanly. Following another win in the center circle, Phillips set up behind and to the side of the Tesoro goal before zipping a pass to Madison DuMond, who was crashing the crease from outside of the arc and notched a goal, giving Trabuco Hills their first lead of the night at 4-3.

With Tesoro taking the next draw, the ball ended up behind the Mustang net. Passing out to the side of the arc, a breaking Titan attacker collided with Mustang defender Rachel Gillet; surprisingly, Gillet was called for the block and Tesoro was awarded the free position, which they converted. This sequence seemed to wake up the Mustang defenders, who started swarming every Titan ball carrier and creating multiple turnovers to thwart any offensive efforts that Tesoro attempted. Kody Shelton, Ashly Bradshaw, Hannah Moller, and DuMond were ferocious and added to the Titan frustration, and Erin Beall was making key stops in goal . Two free positions, awarded to Phillips and Derbyshire, respectively, on the other end of the field resulted in 2 more Mustang goals.

With Trabuco Hills on the attack, Tesoro tightened up as well. During a scrum in front of the Titan net, several scoring opportunities were denied before the Mustangs executed 3 sharp passes, the final one coming from DuMond to Derbyshire in traffic, who somehow unleashed a low bounce shot that skipped in just above the Titan keeper’s shoe laces. On the next Titan possession, Shelton caused a turnover that was scooped up by Mustang keeper Beall, who quickly got the ball out to DuMond for a carry and pass, resulting in another goal by Phillips.

As momentum seemed to be with the Mustangs, the next draw went to Tesoro resulting in a quick goal. Not deterred, the Mustangs controlled the next loose ball, with Becca Haggard receiving a slash from a desperate Titan midfielder; as she carried into the Tesoro end after the restart, Haggard spotted Derbyshire and delivered a perfect strike, which she, in turn, got over to Phillips for an easy score. In what seemed to be like the last real scoring opportunity of the first half, the Mustangs were caught flat footed by a quick-strike Titan surge which resulted in another tally for the home team. Beall made 2 more strong saves as Tesoro continued to press the attack, and the first-half clock finally expired on a 9-6 Trabuco Hills lead.

The opening draw of the 2nd half went to Tesoro, who sped down the field and scored an uncontested goal just seconds into the period. Pressing again, the Titans attacked the same spot but the ball came loose. Shelton emerged with it and carried it out of danger before delivering a perfect pass to Phillips near the Titan restraining line, who then made a spectacular pass to Derbyshire in the slot before the Titan keeper made an even better save. From there it was back and forth, with sloppy play from both squads. Tesoro eventually worked a scoring chance, which Beall saved, but they were able to put the rebound in behind her. Haggard then found Sandoval slashing through the crease and hit her with a precise pass for a score.

Next, Derbyshire did a fantastic job of picking up a loose ball and creating some space for herself. After carrying around behind the net, she found Phillips with a slick pass at the top of the crease for another tally but also received a hard check across the bridge of the nose, which would temporarily send her to the sidelines. A couple of more times up and down the field, and Derbyshire was back in, slipping a deceptive pass to a wide open Juliet Mooney for an uncontested score. Still on a roll, Derbyshire rifled another pass into the slot for Haggard, who notched lucky goal 13 for the Mustangs. It was Derbyshire’s 4th assist to go along with her 3 goals.

Phillips tallied 2 more markers, her 6th and 7th of the game, off of strong individual efforts before Tesoro made one last push to turn the tide. On a strong rush down the field, the Titans somehow got behind the defense and a looping pass allowed for a point-blank shot and score. Inside of the final 2 minutes, the Titans were able to muster a weaving effort to push their goal total to 10, but they would get no closer. As the Mustangs controlled the ball for the final minute, Tesoro had no more answers and Trabuco Hills was able to close out a very gratifying 15-10 win.

Record: 7-5, 3-1 South Coast League

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