Mon, May 10 2010 02:23 PM Posted By: Phillip Brents
At 10-4 overall and 7-0 in league play, it appears the Otay Ranch Mustangs girls lacrosse team will settle for nothing less than a co-championship to cap play in the second-year Metro Conference. Whether Otay Ranch claims this year's league title outright or shares it was to be determined in Thursday's scheduled game against visiting Bonita Vista.
The Barons entered the game with only one league loss. The teams shared last year's inaugural league championship.
Thursday's high profile match-up is the second in league play this year for the teams. The Mustangs topped Bonita Vista, 13-6, in first-round action.
Otay Ranch geared up for Thursday's fateful encounter with a 13-4 victory at Hilltop on Tuesday. Michelle Garcia led the Mustangs in that game with four goals while Briana Hannes and Tuyet Cam each contributed three goals. Daniella Dumas was credited with eight goalie saves for the winners.
Nicci Coyle scored all four Lancer goals.
The Mustangs turned a close game at halftime (Otay Ranch led 5-3) into a second-half rout with an 8-1 scoring advantage.
Manny Frutos and Adrian Rodriguez return as Mustang coaches. Otay Ranch existed as an independent club before the formation of the Metro Conference and the Mustang coaches have been pleased with the progress the team has made since its genesis.
They also are pleased with the progress other South Bay teams have made since last year's inaugural season.
Part of the reason for improvement throughout the league has been the development of younger players. Otay Ranch lost only three players to graduation last year and has five seniors out of a returning group of 19 players this year.
"The girls have gained experience and have improved tremendously," Frutos said. "Our shooting is tremendous this year. Our girls have improved in passing, catching, shooting and cradling. Those are the four basic lacrosse skills."
Hannes entered Tuesday's game with 47 goals on the season while Cam had scored 44 goals.
The fledgling Mustangs dare to dream of even better days.
"We really want to repeat as Metro champions," Frutos said. "We want to get back to CIF and go further than the first round. We went to CIF last year and played defending state champion La Costa Canyon in our first game. That didn't go so well for us."
Frutos serves as the women's coach of the San Diego Pride/ Rattlers off-season club program. The Pride/Rattlers are open to all South Bay high school-age players. The focus of the summer league is to develop skills as well as serve as a showcase for college coaches.
"A lot of our girls participated and it shows," Frutos said. "We're open to anyone from the South Bay to join. We want to be the regional team for all the South Bay, not just Otay Ranch."
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