Newport Harbor Earns the “W” Against a Potent St. Margaret’s, March 22nd 2017

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Newport Harbor – 14
St. Margaret’s – 12

Costa Mesa, March 21 – St. Margaret’s dominated the draw behind junior Cailin Young, but a steady and patient Sailor attack led by senior Katie Hendrix would ultimately prevail in Tuesday’s back-and-forth battle.

The visiting Tartans got on the board early, as they took down the first two draws and converted on each possession.  Sophomore Niki Miles made good on a nice inside crease roll and senior Cameron Manor followed with a drive and shot from the top.  Although the Tartans took down the ensuing draw and initiated their signature fast break, sophomore goalie Jade Rettig made a gnarly save and the Sailors went to work on their first offensive possession.  Senior attacker Heather Roberts broke the seal for the Sailors on a crease roll of her own.   St. Margaret’s made it 3-1 off a free position from Young, but the Sailors came back to tie the game with two free positions from senior Laura Tran and Roberts.

With just under ten minutes in the first half, St. Margaret’s called a timeout to re-group.  Behind goals from Manor and Miles, the visitors took a 7-3 lead and the Sailors called a timeout of their own.  From here, the hosting Sailors went on a three-goal run with goals from senior Sarah Farley (free position), Hendrix (free position), and Roberts (crease roll).  After one more goal from Young on a nifty rebound snag and quick-stick and one more goal from Farley on a free position, the halftime score was 8-7, St. Margaret’s.

In the second half, the Sailors improved on the draw and worked hard to limit the intense Tartan transition.  SMES struck first with a wicked net-ripper from Young, but NHHS quickly responded off the following draw as sophomore defender Delaney Knipp picked up the loose ball, ran straight to cage, and earned the first goal of her varsity career.  Hendrix followed with an ankle-breaking dodge and unstoppable shot, and the game was tied, 9-9, with just under twenty minutes remaining. 

St. Margaret’s Manor came back with a goal off an unsettled ground ball, but was then denied on the next possession by Newport’s Rettig on a strong free position shot.  On the Sailors’ next trip into the offensive end, Newport junior Adena Rothbard drove through intense pressure and floated the shot to re-tie the game.  Roberts had her would-be fourth goal of the game taken away on a specious goal circle violation, and a few minutes later SMES struck again with a drive and shot by Manor.  In the heart of the second half, the NHHS defense of Jill Rosten, Hayden Allen, Elise Skytte, and Knipp tightened up and Rettig came up with several breathtaking saves to keep the Sailors in the hunt. 

With just under nine minutes remaining, Newport’s Farley slipped through the Tartan defense and drove to tie the game at eleven.  At 6:30, Tran baited a check, dodged to the St. Margaret’s cage, and buried the shot for the Sailors’ first lead of the game, 12-11.  Less than a minute later, Hendrix uncorked another net-ripper off another outrageous dodge.  Tran followed with a hard drive through a stretched Tartan defense and gave the Tars a three-goal lead with 3:12 to go.  SMES fought back with a final goal from Miles, but Newport held strong for the final two minutes to earn the comeback victory.