By Galilea Oregon/Photos by Benjamin Rodriguez
After a close game resulting in a loss against Long Beach Polytechnic High School, Tustin’s Girls’ Lacrosse team took on Laguna Beach High School this past Thursday. The odds did not appear to be in favor for Tustin, as they’d lost their past two games this week. Yet, even with the glum weather, the Tillers were enthusiastic and ready to crush the Laguna Beach Breakers.
With Daphne Tautuaa (#11) on the draw, Tustin had the clear upperhand. As expected, Tautuaa (#11) snatched the ball from the air as soon as it went up, and immediately sprinted to goal. The Laguna defense was not ready for Tautuaa’s (#11) speed, and they failed to crash. Unfortunately, her shot failed, she got a crease roll violation, and ball possession switched to Laguna. #10 took the ball down the field, but Tustin’s defense was already prepared and in position to prevent any goals. #10’s efforts were stunted by the Tillers’ crash, forcing her to retreat back out of the eight meter arc.
Laguna’s inexperience allowed fo the Tillers to steal about any dropped ball: Andrea Palma (#7)
took the opportunity to scoop up a ground ball, take a shot at goal that rebounded, and was the shot once again by Tautuaa (#11). yet again however, the ball bounced off the goalie’s stick, but the Tillers refused to give up: Lisbeth Cabrera (#9) was there for the rebound, and when her shot went overhead, Samantha Hernandez (#4) took the chase, assuring ball possession for Tustin.
Following more dropped balls, Samantha Cantoran (#16) scored Tustin’s first goal after battling with the immovable defense. Then again, at the draw, Cantoran (#16) took the ball and ran it back again to goal. She was awarded a penalty shot after being pushed down by a Laguna defender, placing her on the perfect hatch mark on the eight meter arc, allowing her to score Tustin’s second goal. For a third time, at the draw, Tautuaa (#11) utilized her height to gain ball possession, but was stopped at the twelve meter arc by Laguna’s impeccable crashes, preventing Tustin to move forward. Then, with a single misstep and drop of the ball, Laguna’s #10 slipped through the array of attackers and midfielders, taking the ball to X and crease rolling on goalie Citlalli Mora (#23), scoring Laguna’s first goal. But the Tillers were quick to retaliate, with three minutes left in the half Citlaly Rodriguez (#3), sprinted back to the Breakers’ goal, while being double teamed, and yet found time to stand at the X and calculate. With no attacker open to receive a pass, Rodriguez (#3) crease rolled and scored, putting Tustin in the lead 3 to 1. Then, senior Melody Velasco (#14) was able to scoop a ground ball and score her first goal for the season, marking Tustin with four goals. Rodriguez once again demonstrated her ability right after the draw, catching the ball in the air and running back again with ease while being double teamed yet again, and scored Tustin’s fifth goal with a bounce shot, right in between the goalie’s legs. Laguna’s #10 was swift, scoring a second goal for the Breakers mere moments after Rodriguez’s goal, ending the half with 5 to 2, Tustin still in the lead.
Throughout the second half, the Tillers’ vastly improved their communication, the defenders crashed when called, the attackers cut through the eight meter in complete synchronization, and the Laguna Breakers were clearly falling behind. Laguna’s defenders were not match for Rodriguez’s (#3) dodges and rolls, and she successfully scored yet another goal, earning a hat trick for herself and giving Tustin six goals to Laguna’s two. #10, for the third time, caught the ball off the draw and crease rolled, scoring a third and final goal for the Breakers, also making a hat trick. Then, Genessis Villapondo (#18), took a shot at the keep, scoring a seventh goal for the Tillers. The final ten minutes of the game were all Rodriguez (#3), scoring goal after goal, ending the game with having scored a total of five goals, one goal shy of a double hat trick and proclaiming the Tustin Tillers victorious, 9 to 3 against the Laguna Beach Breakers.
On Thursday, Tustin High’s Girls’ Lacrosse proved that they could dominate any team, with the right mindset, teamwork, and communication. They redeemed themselves, and as Melody Velasco elaborated, “It shows that [the girls] actually played as a team today, and it feels amazing to know that [they] played great, and gave it [their best].”
Come watch as Tustin High’s Girls’ Lacrosse takes on Notre Dame High School on Tuesday, April 10 at Northrup Stadium.