By Galilea Oregon/Photos by Benjamin Rodriquez
Following disappointing tournament play at Birmingham High School this past weekend, Tustin High School’s Girls’ Lacrosse took on Edison High School for the first time this past Tuesday, in hopes to redeem themselves for the remaining season.
With midfielder Citlaly Rodriguez (#3) on draw, the Tillers appeared confident and ready. However, they were caught by surprise by Edison’s #13 who was able to take ball possession as soon as the whistle was blown, and scored the first goal, only a minute into the game. Following a second draw by Rodriguez (#3) , sophomore attacker Lisbeth Cabrera (#9) sprinted to goal with the ball ready to shoot, but the Edison defenders were fearless and determined, getting a foul for pushing Cabrera down, giving her the opportunity to make a seamless pass to junior attacker Samantha Cantoran (#16), but Edison’s defenders blockaded her from getting anywhere near the crease, proving to be a struggle for the Tillers throughout the game. At the blink of an eye, Edison’s #13 once again reclaimed the ball, too fast for Tustin’s midfielders and defenders, scoring Edison’s second goal. Senior defender Melody Velasco (#14) took matters into her own hands and attempted a shot to goal but was blocked by Edison’s swift and experienced goalie. Yet again, Edison gained ball possession and #25 evaded the Tillers’ crash, scoring the Chargers’ third goal.
Following the draw, the anxious Tillers finally gained ball possession by junior co-captain and attacker Andrea Palma (#7) who was finally successful in making past the Chargers’ impregnable wall of defense. Unfortunately, her shot was inaccurate: the ball fell right into the goalie’s stick. But Tustin did not give up. Sophomore attacker Samantha Hernandez (#4) fought for the rebound ground ball, and took one last despairing shot. It was caught once again, right inside the goalie’s stick.
Tustin called for a time-out to slow down the frazzled Tillers. They returned to the field with a new, more focused attitude and, sure enough, the Tillers composed themselves once more when Rodriguez (#3) made an epic shot between the goalie’s legs, scoring Tustin’s first goal. Hernandez (#4) scooped up the ball at draw and passed it to Cantoran (#16), leaving it to Palma (#7) to take a second attempt at a goal. When it rebounded, Cabrera (#9) was there to swiftly scoop the ball, and pass it to junior midfielder Daphne Tautuaa (#11). Although both shots by Palma (#7) and Tautuaa (#11) were ultimately unsuccessful, the Tillers were relentless, and took every chance they could get to move the ball into Edison’s 8- meter arc. Edison’s #31 picked up the ground ball and sprinted down to the Tillers’ goal, shooting over the defenders’ heads, making a fourth goal for the Chargers. At the half, Edison was in the lead 4 to 1.
Tustin was no match for the freakishly fast Chargers. After the first draw of the second half, Charger attack player #7 scored Edison’s fifth goal. Then, #31 returned, scoring a sixth goal for the Chargers. Tautuaa (#11) failed a shot. Shooting space was called on Rodriguez (#3), allowing for Edison’s #11 to make a seventh goal. Then #25 crease-rolled, catching the Tiller defenders off guard, making an eighth goal for the Chargers. #31 scored Edison’s ninth goal, earning a hat-trick for herself.
And then, a switch flipped in the Tiller’s play. Sophomore attacker Genessis Villapondo (#18) caught a pass from Cantoran (#16), and took a shot at goal. The ball bounced off the goalie’s helmet, the coaches gasped in despair, but through half shut eyes, they saw that it had bounced right back into goal, finally making a second goal for Tustin. The Chargers remained strong and #31 made a tenth goal. Immediately after, Hernandez (#4) took a pass from junior defender Anyah Smith (#6) and marked the Tillers’ third goal. Rodriguez, known for her tirelessness, took the ball from the draw circle, making a fourth and final goal for the Tillers. The Edison chargers made four more goals, shot by #5, #4, and #19, leaving the game at 4 to 14 for this match.
Although the Tillers lost, their skills in teamwork and perseverance were noted, even by Edison’s coaches and parents. It may have been a defeat, but the Tillers took on every goal and misstep with dignity, and learned to adjust when necessary. Assistant coach Anthony Briones explained that with, “better shot selection whenever [they] get a better opportunity to score [..] will lead to better goals instead of shooting directly at the keep,” and commended the girls’ lacrosse team for playing well with the experience at hand, trusting that, “if [they] keep the pace [they’re] going at, [they] will win more games.”
Girls’ Lacrosse will play their next home game against Laguna Beach High School this Thursday at Northrup Stadium at 3:15. Come support the Tillers as they take on their ninth game of the season.