Newport Harbor at San Clemente on Saturday Feb 25th

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Newport Harbor 11, San Clemente 10 (OT)

San Clemente, February 25 – If the opening matchup of the 2017 girls lacrosse season is any indication of what’s to come, we’re in for a wild ride. Newport Harbor and San Clemente battled to the buzzer and forced overtime, with Newport gaining the victory, 11-10.

San Clemente came strong out of the gates, with junior Kiley Buckley driving straight to the Newport cage for the quick score. Newport senior Sarah Farley answered a minute later off a free-position drive through three crashing Tritons. San Clemente proceeded to turn their quick transition game into a four-goal run, with juniors Shea Hefft and Jessica De Collibus getting in on the action. Newport senior Heather Roberts stopped the bleeding with a hockey-style wrist shot from a ground ball. The Sailors went back to work on a possession extended by a successful ride, but SCHS goalie Kennedy Kingsmill denied a wicked quick stick fed to Farley from Junior Lysie Kenney and the SCHS crossbar denied NHHS junior Adena Rothbard after a slick drive slicing through two defenders landed her on top of the cage. The home team netted another transition goal to bring back its four-goal lead with six minutes remaining in the half.

In those final six minutes, Newport came racing back with a 4-1 run behind goals from Rothbard on a free position, senior Jessica Woodruff on a nifty feed from senior Corinne Reuter, senior Katie Hendrix on a needle-threading pass from Rothbard, and a last second transition feed from Hendrix to Woodruff.

Halftime score: SC 7, NH 6

In the second half, both defenses grew stingier by the minute. Hefft opened scoring for the Tritons sixty seconds in, and the Sailors responded with two to tie the score at eight: a blazing free position rip from Farley and a smooth free position drive from Hendrix. Meanwhile, the Sailor defensive crew of seniors Jill Rosten, Hayden Allen, Delaney Knipp, and sisters Elise & Amber Skytte went into shut-down mode, while sophomore goalie Jade Rettig came up with a few prime-time saves.

San Clemente’s Heft broke the tie after breaking a man-down double team, and Buckley brought the Tritons to double digits with another double-team-breaking drive. With nine minutes left, the home team slowed down the game, but Newport was able to claw back, with a free position goal from Rothbard and a sister-to-sister feed from freshman Caroline to Sarah Farley. Although Newport maintained possession for the most of the final minutes of regulation, the Triton defense was stalwart, giving up little more than a dangerous free position to Sarah Farley in the final ten seconds; Kingsmill came up with a textbook save on the low shot, forcing overtime.

Newport took down the overtime draw and worked the set for ninety seconds before captains connected, Hendrix to Farley, for the shot and score to earn Newport Harbor its first lead of the game.