Laguna Survives Scare, Capture 5th Holiday Cup
Breakers played their first overtime contest since 2013 as they edged Mater Dei 12-11 on Saturday evening at Newport Harbor.
The win captures their fifth straight Holiday Cup title and their 12th in-season tournament crown in the 13 contests where they have competed.
For the third time the Monarchs faced the Breakers in the tournament, with Laguna defeating Mater Dei 11-6 for the Santa Barbara title and 14-7 for the Southern California Championships title last season. The senior laden Catholic school is expected to be Laguna’s chief rival this season along with Dos Pueblos. The two Orange County schools could meet another five times this season, but do have a confirmed non-league match set for 11 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 20 at Mater Dei.
In Saturday’s title game, senior Alana Evans, headed to Princeton next fall, scored her first of three goals on the Breakers second possession. She received a pass from fellow senior Evan Tingler, playing for Harvard next season, but the Monarchs came right back and answered on an outside skip shot.
Mater Dei scored a single goal in each of the four regulation periods, but tied up the contest with strong outside shots. Breakers took their last lead in regulation at the 1:38 mark on a score by freshman Nicole Struss off an Evans pass, but the Monarchs would not go away and scored on a lob shot with 33 seconds remaining.
Breakers had one last try before over time, but could not score.
The two three-minute overtime periods nearly went scoreless until Evans connected on the game winning shot with a minute remaining. The Monarchs tried to force sudden death, but their final shot bounced off the cage.
Overall, Evan Tingler led with four goals, two assists and two steals. Alana Evans had three goals and an assist. Sophia Lucas had two scores with single goals from Bryn Goffredi, Nicole Struss, and Rachael Carver. Thea Walsh had two assists, two steals and eight saves in the sometimes foggy conditions.
Earlier on Saturday at Newport Harbor the Breakers defeated Foothill 7-1 as Thea Walsh set a new single game record with 19 saves as the Knights were unusually accurate with their shots. Sophia Lucas drew seven exclusions including a five meter penalty shot that was converted by Evan Tingler for a 3-1 lead in the second period.
Overall Lucas, a senior headed to USC, had three goals; Alex Peros two; with single goals by Evan Tingler and Molly Renner. Previously on Friday, Breakers blasted Rancho Bernardo 23-4 and Santa Barbara 13-2 with the entire team playing.
This week the Breakers were at Foothill on Jan. 4 and will host Estancia in league play on Wednesday, Jan. 10, at Laguna. Next Thursday they travel to Santa Barbara with a non-league match scheduled with San Marcos at Santa Barbara High School followed by the Tournament of Champions on Friday and Saturday that will feature all of the Southern Section’s top teams.
Laguna’s JV finished 12th in the 16-team tournament losing to Orange Lutheran’s varsity 16-6 on Friday at Corona del Mar before defeating Santiago (Corona) 9-7 in the evening game. On Saturday they were edged 8-7 by San Clemente’s varsity before falling 11-10 to Newport Harbor’s varsity in another close game.
There are 10 freshmen on the JV squad while varsity has three who saw considerable play time against Mater Dei including the overtime periods. The JV will host their own tournament this Friday and Saturday Jan. 5 and 6 at the Laguna Community pool. Admission is free.