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.
Newport Harbor – 19
Valencia – 4
Costa Mesa, March 16 – The Tars came strong out of the gate, with senior captain Katie Hendrix scoring off a feed from fellow senior Heather Roberts in the first minute of the game. Over the next fifteen minutes, the Sailors build a 10-0 lead before Valencia answered to break the shutout. At halftime, the score was 13-1. The Tigers went on a nice three-goal run in the thick of the second half, but it was too little, too late. The home team got themselves back on track, put a few more goals in the back of the cage, and secured the victory.
For Newport, senior Laura Tran and Hendrix each walked away with five goals. Junior Adena Rothbard netted four, sisters Sarah and Caroline Farley each put two away, and Roberts ended up with one.
Newport Harbor – 10
Santa Margarita – 9
Rancho Santa Margarita, March 14 – It was a game of momentum as Newport Harbor built a lead, Santa Margarita made the come-back, and the visiting Sailors held strong to put a tough victory on ice.
Just over a minute into the game, Newport freshman attacker Caroline Farley rolled the crease, dodged twice against a double team, and ripped a shot to give her visiting Tars the early lead. Less than a minute later, the Eagles’ senior midfielder and draw specialist, Erin Dibernardo, converted a free position shot from the center hash to even up the match. Newport senior Laura Tran answered a minute later with a center-hash free position of her own, giving the Sailors a lead they would not relinquish. Just before the twenty minute mark, senior Katie Hendrix dodged through pressure on a free position and gave her team the 3-1 advantage. On the next possession, SMCHS junior Aidan Pike slipped through the Newport defense, received a dump pass from Dibernardo, and shot to bring the Eagles back to within one.
Newport answered less than a minute later, with junior Adena Rothbard pounding the cage with a hard free position shot. The home team looked as if they would come back to within a goal off a nice drive, but an off-ball attacker made illegal contact and Newport was awarded the ball. In the possession that followed, Tran earned a free position shot, made a deft move around a defender, and shot the ball with poise to put the Sailors up, 5-2. As the half progressed, sophomore goalie Jade Rettig heated up and denied a number of tough shots, one of which turned into a beautiful transition goal fed from Tran to Farley the younger. The Tar defense, anchored by Jill Rosten, Hayden Allen, Amber Skytte, and Delaney Knipp, held steadfast for an extended portion of the half as their team built a 7-2 lead. The final goal of the run came as Rothbard fed a streaking Hendrix in transition for the emphatic shot and goal.
Moments later, SMCHS junior goalie Victoria Hoffman denied a potent shot from Hendrix. Soon, Santa Margarita came back on offense, settled the ball, and earned a free position, which sophomore Katelyn Murphy buried to end the NHHS run. At halftime, Newport led 7-3.
In the second half, Dibernardo continued to dominate on the draw, and just over a minute into the half junior Sidney Ruiz took advantage of a defender out of position, rolled the crease, and narrowed her team’s deficit to three. The home team continued to press, but found themselves offside. The ball was awarded to Hendrix who passed to Rothbard, who passed to senior Sarah Farley, who fed her sister for the quick strike and the 8-4 lead. The teams battled back-and-forth, until Rothbard broke the mini-stalemate with a signature face-dodge and shot.
From here, the Eagles came back strong and built a run of four goals from Dibernardo (assisted by Pike), Murphy (off a ground ball and drive), Murphy (assisted in transition by Dibernardo), and Dibernardo (off a center-hash free position). Just like that, in a matter of three minutes, the SMCHS was within one of the Sailors. The Newport defense regrouped, stopped the bleeding, and went back on the offensive. With just over nine minutes to go, Farley the elder earned a free position and dodged through crashing defenders to put NHHS up by two. For the next several minutes, the teams went back and forth, with Newport earning a few key steals off good defense and solid riding, and Santa Margarita surviving several shots on an extended Sailor possession. Ultimately, Pike found the ball in transition, brought it through X, and rolled the crease for the home team’s ninth goal.
The 10-9 Newport lead would hold for the final 5:51, as Newport earned the draw control but then turned it over on a freak trip and fall. SMCHS turned it back over on a hard NHHS crash, and Newport worked their offense to burn a few minutes before the Eagles forced another turnover—which they lost in transition. Newport called a timeout with just under two minutes remaining, came back to the field, and ran the clock with an effective stall against double-team pressure to seal the one-goal victory.
Newport Harbor – 12
Esperanza – 2
Anaheim, March 9 – Off the opening draw of the night, Newport senior Sarah Farley won the ball and fed senior Katie Hendrix, who earned a free position and pocketed the shot. The Sailors never looked back.
On the ensuing possession, Farley earned a few free positions, the last of which she converted with a graceful drive through crashing defense. As the match progressed, Newport continued to dominate the draw and the transition game. The home team held strong for seven or eight minutes, but the visiting Sailors would not be denied, as their ride forced a turnover which Farley punished for the 3-0 lead with 15:55 remaining. Hendrix took the ensuing draw and drove to cage for her second of the night.
At halftime, the score was 6-0. Esperanza attempted a second-half comeback, with goals from juniors Lauren Kurtz and Brianna Bravo; goalie Monica Silva played valiantly and came up with some very nice stops. But the Sailors never lost focus and finished what they started with the 12-2 victory.
For Newport, Farley ended with seven goals and eight draw controls (!), Hendrix had two goals and an assist, senior Heather Roberts put two away, and freshman Caroline Farley scored one and assisted one. Assists also went to senior Corinne Reuter, senior Laura Tran, and junior Rylee Warmington.