Sat, May 11 2013 01:45 AM Posted By: Phillip Brents
The San Diego Section's switch to a new playoff system based on competitive level rather than student enrollment certainly paid dividends for the three Metro Conference girls lacrosse teams to qualify for post-season play this season. Not only did the South County playing circuit pick up two extra at-large qualifiers (previously only the league champion qualified), but all three teams picked up wins in their opening round games.
The 2013 season is certainly one to celebrate.
Metro Conference champion Hilltop continued to make history by defeating visiting Francis Parker, 19-4, in Wednesday's Division I playoff opener.
The Division II playoffs faced off Thursday with both the Eastlake Titans and Bonita Vista Barons among the entrants in the 12-team bracket.
Eastlake not only earned its first-ever CIF playoff berth but also its first-ever CIF home playoff game. The xx-seeded Titans did not disappoint their partisan crowd by holding off a late charge by the visiting Monte Vista Monarchs to post a 10-8 win.
Bonita Vista received the No. 9 seed and traveled to No. 8 Helix. The Barons brought a 9-6 victory home with them.
All three South County teams advance to Saturday's division quarterfinals. Game times are 11 a.m.
Kasey Simonds led fifth-seeded Hilltop (14-7 overall, 10-0 in league play) with six goals and two assists while teammates Laurel Coleman and Brianna Duplessis added four and three goals, respectively, in Wednesday's playoff victory.
The Lancers advance to play at fourth-seeded Mt. Carmel (11-5) in Saturday’s Division I quarterfinals.
Hilltop became the first lacrosse team -- girls or boys -- in Metro Conference history to notch a CIF playoff victory. That came last year. The Lancers have now become the first Metro team to win two playoff games in as many years.
"It's awesome to see that our hard work has paid off with another CIF playoff victory," HHS coach Sasha Scott said. "We are happy that we have gotten that first win in the playoffs each year but we'd like to get that next one. Mt. Carmel is a great team and I know it's going to be hard (to beat them), but I think it's something we're capable of."
Hilltop received a goal and two assists each from Brigitte Young and Hannah Teague. Four other players scored single goals: Evelyn Martinez. Caroline Vazquez, Jalissa Pressley and Brenda Garcia.
Angelica Delgado recorded nine goalie saves to buttress the Lancer defense.
Francis Parker finished the season 2-13.
Eastlake finished runner-up in this year's Metro standings with a 7-3 league record. The Titans built an early 3-1 lead on the Monarchs in Thursday's playoff opener before the teams settled into a 5-5 halftime standoff.
The hosts rocketed out of the chute in the second half with four goals to take a 9-5 lead. But the East County visitors rallied with three unanswered goals to narrow the EHS lead to 9-8 with 5:50 to play in regulation.
The Titans (12-4) took some drama out of the final minutes when they went up 10-8 with five minutes left on the clock. Eastlake managed to play a smart game of keepaway for the final two minutes to run out the clock.
Alexyss McClelland led the hosts with six goals, followed by Kindrew Lowman with three goals and Gillian Stargensky with a goal and assist. Mariel Sabado was credited with nine goalie saves in notching the victory.
Elizabeth Costa, Sarah Abrenica and Monica Lopez each scored twice for Monte Vista (7-13).
"We played them before and had beaten them before (9-6 on March 19)," EHS coach Robert Blas said. "(When the game got close) I told the girls to focus and we scored. It's hard to just turn on that switch to get the intensity going.
"It's the first time we've been to the CIF playoffs and we now have our first CIF win. It feels great. It's only our fifth year of existence. I love the support we've gotten. I love our school, I love our administration."
The Titans advance to play at second-seeded Valley Center (14-5).
Bontia Vista finished third in the regular season Metro standings, dealing second place Eastlake one loss and going down by a narrow 8-5 score to visiting Hilltop in a second-round match.
The Barons proved they have some sticking power after eliminating the Highlanders (6-12). They next play top-seeded Del Norte (11-11) in the quarterfinals.
Lauren Gonzales and Malinda Miranda paced Bonita Vista with four goals apiece in the first-round win.
Metro Conference Standings
Hilltop Lancers 10-0
Eastlake Titans 7-3
Bonita Vista Barons 6-4
Mar Vista Mariners 5-5
Otay Ranch Mustangs 2-8
Chula Vista Spartans 0-10
© 2009 The Star-News