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Five Metro girls lacrosse teams advance to CIF playoffs, but respect still on order Phillip Brents | Fri, May 09 2014 08:11 PM

It was a banner year specifically for the Hilltop High School girls lacrosse team and collectively for the Metro Conference with a record five post-season qualifiers.

The Lancers were the first of the local teams to take the field in Friday’s San Diego Section Division I playoff opener against the visiting Rancho Bernardo Broncos and, while the hosts twice built two-goal leads in the second half, it was the Broncos who stormed back to capture an 11-9 decision and move on to the next round.

“Both teams really wanted it,” Hilltop coach Jennifer Ferrer explained after the match. “On a couple of their last goals, our girls got caught off guard.”

Goals came in bunches in Friday’s game, with momentum seemingly shifting to one side of the field and — just as suddenly — shifting back.

The ninth-seeded Lancers (14-5) and eighth-seeded Broncos (5-12) traded goals throughout the first half. Hilltop led 3-2 before Rancho Bernardo used two goals to go ahead, 4-3. It was then the Lancers’ turn to go in front, 5-4, on the strength of back-to-back goals by Hannah Teague and Brigitte Young. But the Broncos quickly seized Hilltop’s momentum to tie the game at 5-5 at halftime.

The Lancers appeared the strongest team to start the second half, quickly reeling off two goals — one each by Young and Brenda Garcia — to take a 7-5 lead.

Once again, however, Rancho Bernardo stormed back with a pair of goals to deadlock the game.

Kasey Simonds promptly gave the hosts an 8-7 lead and Young scored her hat trick goal to extended the Hilltop advantage to 9-7.

The Lancers entered the playoffs riding the momentum of a five-game winning streak and eight consecutive league wins overall. But with 12:30 to play in the game, there was simply too much time left on the clock for the visitors to utilize.

And the Broncos didn’t waste any time.

Rancho Bernardo powered up its offense and crashed the Hilltop defense for three rapid-fire goals to go up 10-9.

A penalty to Simonds with less than two minutes to play hurt, with the visitors scoring one goal.

The Broncos scored an insurance goal to win by two goals after trailing by two.

Rancho Bernardo advances to play at top-seeded Bishop’s (17-1) in Monday’s quarterfinals.

Hilltop was the first-ever Metro lacrosse team — girls or boys — to record a CIF playoff victory. That was accomplished last year against Francis Parker.

But the Lancers could not repeat their history-making feat this year.

While girls lacrosse continues to grow in South County, local teams still have to generate a sense of respect county-wide, at least when compared to their North County counterparts.

Hilltop finished 13-1 in Metro play to win this year’s conference championship. However, that was only good enough to earn the No. 9 seed in the 12-team Division I playoffs.

Rancho Bernardo, winless (0-6) in Palomar League play and sporting just four wins on the season, received the No. 8 seed.

As a league champion, the Lancers earned the right to host Friday’s opening round playoff game.

It turned into a final hurrah for Hilltop’s 10 seniors.

Go green
Hilltop defeated Eastlake, 8-2, on May to secure this year’s Metro championship and closed out conference play with a 17-3 win at Mar Vista on Monday.

“After they (Eastlake) beat us the first time (13-12 on April 7), we had been waiting for the return game,” Ferrer said. “I don’t know if Eastlake was at full strength but we were.”

The conference title was the third in a row for the Lancers, who have only dropped one league game in three seasons during its current championship run.

Young led Hilltop in Friday's playoff game with three goals while Simonds and Teague each scored two goals and Garcia and Sabrina Basurto each were credited with one goal. The defenses were nearby absent for both teams, as each goalkeeper was credited with just two saves.

Kathy Rudkin led RB with five goals and one assist.

Next up
Eastlake and Bonita Vista tied for second place in the conference standings, each with 11-3 league records, followed by Otay Ranch (8-6 in league) and Mar Vista (6-8 in league).

All four teams received bids to compete in the Division II playoffs, with both the Barons and the Titans receiving impressive opening-round byes.

In Saturday’s first round, seventh-seeded Otay Ranch (11-9) will host 10th-seeded Francis Parker (5-10) while 11th-seeded Mar Vista (7-11) will travel to sixth-seeded Ramona (8-12).

Bonita Vista (15-3) received the No. 2 seed and will host the Otay Ranch-Francis Parker winner in Tuesday’s quarterfinals while Eastlake, which received the No. 3 seed with a 14-4 record, will host the Mar Vista-Ramona winner, also on Tuesday.

The division semifinals are scheduled Thursday, with the Division II championship game set for Saturday, May 17, at noon at Del Norte High School.

San Marcos is the top-seeded team in Division II with a 16-5 record while Granite Hills is seeded fourth with a 14-4 record.

Bonita Vista tuned up for the playoffs by drubbing Olympian, 21-2, on May 1 and Otay Ranch, 11-5, on Monday.

Eastlake ended a two-game losing streak by upending Castle Park, 15-2, on Monday.

Otay Ranch closed out regular season play with losses to Serra (12-5 last Friday) and Bonita Vista on Monday.

Mar Vista has also lost its last two games, including a 10-9 overtime loss at Chula Vista on May 1 besides Monday’s loss to visiting Hilltop.

Metro Conference Standings
(Final Regular Season)

Hilltop Lancers 13-1, 14-4
Bonita Vista Barons 11-3, 15-3
Eastlake Titans 11-3, 14-4
Otay Ranch Mustangs 8-6, 11-9
Mar Vista Mariners 6-8, 7-11
Chula Vista Spartans 4-10, 4-13
Olympian Eagles 3-11, 3-17
Castle Park Trojans 0-14, 0-14


Saturday's Division II playoff results

(7) Otay Ranch 15, (10) Francis Parker 10 — Cynthia Perez 4 goals, Amber Candelaria 3 goals

(6) Ramona 15, (11) Mar Vista 7

Tuesday's quarterfinals

(2) Bonita Vista 13, (7) Otay Ranch 6
(3) Eastlake 11, (6) Ramona 5

Friday's semifinals
(3) Eastlake (15-4) at (2) Bonita Vista (16-3), 3 p.m.

Bonita Vista 13, Otay Ranch 6

@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }@font-face { font-family: "MS 明朝"; }@font-face { font-family: "Cambria"; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: Cambria; }.MsoChpDefault { font-size: 10pt; font-family: Cambria; }div.WordSection1 { page: WordSection1; } Lauren Gonzalez (six goals, two assists) and Liz Des Enfants (three goals, five assists) led Bonita Vista’s winning effort by each collecting eight points. The Barons opened up an early 7-0 lead, though the Mustangs closed the gap to 7-4 by halftime.

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