SAN JUAN CAPISTRANO – St. Margaret’s outlasted Foothill 13-9 Tuesday to solidify its spot as the top lacrosse team in Orange County.
St Margaret’s (14-1) scored seven consecutive goals in the third quarter, with six of the goals coming in a three-minute span.
The Tartans led Foothill 6-4 at halftime then launched their scoring blitz at the start of the third period to essentially secure the victory.
Midfielder Conrad Hampson scored back-to-back goals to start the third quarter as St. Margaret’s extended its lead to four.
St. Margaret’s midfielder Conrad Hampson scored a team-high 4 goals in the Tartan’s 13-9 win over Foothill in a battle between the top teams in the county. Cameo by @ZachCav. @ocvarsity @SMESAthletics pic.twitter.com/Itus15CFyY
— Michael Huntley (@mikehuntley63) April 18, 2018
After a Foothill penalty, Andy Shin scored and attackman Kevin Groeninger scored on the ensuing face-off to put St. Margaret’s ahead by six goals.
Garrett Kuntz scored and on the ensuing face-off and Hampson scored his fourth goal of the game to extend the Tartans’ lead to 12-4.
“Conrad has been a stud all year and he’s been waiting for this game a long time,” St. Margaret’s coach Glen Miles said of Hampson. “These guys all play together during the summer and this game means a lot to all of them.”
Midfielder Trevor Peay scored a man-up goal to finish the Tartans’ run and extend the lead to 13-4.
“The seniors took it upon themselves to not let them (Foothill) back into the game and own the first couple of minutes (of the third quarter),” Miles said. “Lacrosse is a game of runs, and fortunately it was a good run. Without it, we would have been in trouble.”
“We came together as a team,” Hampson said, “. . . (and) thought about what we needed to do. As long as we do what we’re supposed to do and run our plays, we can succeed.”
A major contributor to St. Margaret’s success was the dominant performance from face-off man Stuart Pollard. Pollard won 18 of 23 face-offs to help St. Margaret’s keep the ball away from Foothill’s high-powered offense.
“The face-off situation in the third quarter was obviously very helpful,” Miles said. “Stuart works really hard. It’s a big part of the game and some years you have somebody with that skill.”
“Face-offs were a really big part of the game. All those extra possessions and we just needed a few more,” Foothill coach Jon Fox said.
Foothill (15-3) scored the last five goals of the game. Andrew Cumming scored four goals for the Knights and Troy Hofer scored three goals.
St. Margaret’s and Foothill are the top two teams in the US Lacrosse coaches’ poll. Tuesday’s game impact where the teams are seeded for the US Lacrosse Orange County playoffs, which Foothill won last season.
“The playoffs will be interesting. But the first four or five teams in the playoffs can beat anybody else,” Miles said. “Seedings matter a little bit, but you have to beat everybody anyways.”
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